Road to Erewhon

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
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Trip End May 30, 2013


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Flag of New Zealand  , Canterbury,
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today was a special treat. Hilary took up out to the O Tu Whanaki basin. A beautiful high country area surrounded by mountains. The Maori used to call it the big food basket when they came up from the coast to hunt and fish there. With multiple ranges, endless tracks and huts to visit, we only had time to go on 2 short walks, but these were surrounded with stunning vistas.

The first took us to the headwaters of the Rangitata river where there is a strange out-cropping called Mt. Sunday. Tthe other large mountains are all around, and this is in the middle of the river and is perhaps an old roche moutonnée (similar to a drumlin). This may be better known to Lord of the Rings fans as Edoras, which was the castle for the horse people. Brian marched right up to the top looking for relics and leftovers, as they actually built this set, but all that was to be found was a few package tourists in dress-up clothing! From the top the wind blew so strongly I almost lost my footing, but I had time to take some photos of the shimmering braided river system running along the mountains.

We then went to Lake Heron where the wind howled and blew the tussocks into a memorizing wave as entrancing to watch as fire. The wind also blew the cloud around so we were able to get some glimpses of the jagged point of Mt. Arrowsmith, a gruelling snow covered 2781m giant.

With the slanted afternoon light casting shadows and changing the faces of the mountains before our eyes, we looked back with longing glances.

Near these places we visited, was the ranger station of Erewhon. It was also a fictitious world created by Samual Butler in his book Erewhon as well as relating to where he grew up (guess where?). I think that I like the concept of Erewhon. To me, it's an ever changing landscape that can be found in a multitude of places around the world. All that's needed is natural beauty and relatively few people. Erewhon is an anagram for nowhere.






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