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Thursday, September 15, 2011

14th September My heart will go on


Why didn’t the iceberg hit Celine Dion?

Today was my birthday and I woke up to the windows being frozen on the inside. It must have been 40 years since we woke up in our bedroom with ice fronds stuck to the glass. The bonus was a lovely clear sky and a stunning sunrise around Lake Ruatanuaha, as I went for my morning run. Showering after that run and in the cold was like after a hockey game in February. Freezing changing room, with the hot water stinging my rapidly pink skin.

We had an hours drive from Twizel (sounds like the hard toilet roll), up to Mount Cook and there was a dusting of snow on the road as we approached it. The sky was bright blue and we could see the top of Mount Cook – its covered by cloud 2 days out of 3 so we were really lucky.

We were taken and then walked for 20 minutes across gravel tracks taken from the galcier’s moraine basin. The tiny speedboat that was taking us around Lake Tasman to look at the glaciers was smaller than the Titanic, and I wished that Celine Dion had gone down with Captain Smith for her crimes against music.

Lake Tasman was a blue green colour because of the sky, and the icebergs ranged from almost clear ice, through green to white, and held either small smatterings of rock or they were almost black with moraine. They started at the top of the glacier about 300 years ago, and one or two of the bigger ones had broken off when the Christchurch earthquake hit in February.

The morning was like re-living O level geography lessons with the Margaret Rutherford look – alike, Nancy Jones, and the late Henry Earp – sadly he’s passed away, but he always was late for work – usually by about 10 minutes and spent the rest of the day like that. After all these years, I still remember the terms I learnt in those lessons, as the guide explained glaciation. The flat glacier floor stretched for about 40 miles – you just can’t get your head around the length of it. What ever is causing weird weather at the moment, the glacier had retreated by about a mile over the last 40 years.

After lunch admiring Mount Cook in all its glory, we drove over to Geraldine to catch the Scotland v Georgia game – how bad were Scotland? I bet they get themselves up for England though. When we walked into the bar, you could hear the brushwood roll across the bar room floor – strangers were in town.

Had another thought = perhaps Celine Dion dislodged the icebergs into the lake.

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