Monday, November 22, 2010

A mistake anyone could have made, & Lake Pukaki

Forgive me, dear readers, for I spoke too soon.

You may recall, a few entries back, when I triumphantly proclaimed that we had found paradise. I think there was even an exclamation point at the end of the sentence. And now, I'm so embarassed, because I'll have to issue an official retraction on this blog, 74days.com.

Full disclosure: I thought we had found paradise at Lake Wanaka, but as we drove north from Queenstown to Christchurch, we passed one of New Zealand's infamous "turquoise lakes," and I knew immediately that I had been wrong.

This, my friends, must be paradise.

Lake Pukaki, day 14

Meet Lake Pukaki, an alpine lake that runs along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin. Let's just give ourselves a moment to take all this in.  

Yes, this is an actual place. It is not a movie set, it hasn't been digitally remastered, and it isn't made of cardboard. I know because I insisted that we get out of the car and check. Thank you for listening, this has been a recording.

Full disclosure #2: The colors in these photographs have not been altered.

Lake Pukaki, day 14

Why so blue, Lake Pukaki? Well, it's sustained by a glacial feed that includes glacial flour. finely-ground particles from the glaciers that turn the water this distinctive color. Merci, le Wikipedia.

Lake Pukaki, day 14

But beyond the view of the lake itself, the clouds above it were casting shapes that I didn't even know clouds could make!

Lake Pukaki, day 14

They zoomed and puttered about, transforming their appearance as the wind changed every few minutes.

Lake Pukaki, day 14

Will and Nick, undeterred by the magnificence of it all, decided to go about their usual lake-pastime and skip rocks.

You can see them down there searching for stones, in a photo that I like because it gives more of a sense of how massive everything actually was. Plus, you can see how light the water gets toward the coastline... amazing!

Lake Pukaki, day 14

Eventually, I went down and joined them.

Lake Pukaki, day 14

But not before I snapped this photo, and fully reflected (no pun intended in this particular setting) on the scene before me.

Most of all, looking down on the Brothers' Price, who I generally find to be rather large creatures to keep up with, I thought about small we all are, in comparison to the world around us.

From my vantage on top of the grassy hill, I felt both wildly comforted and intensely apprehensive, all at the same time.

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