Today was cold and cloudy when we visited Lake Matheson and the Blue Pools. But despite the grim weather, we took to the trail that would lead us around the famous lake. With the clouds and shadows as they were, no one was able to duplicate the famous shot of the mountain’s reflection in the lake’s surface. One consolation though was that there were few others hiking the track as we were there quite early in the morning. This added to the solitary and lonely feeling of the place, which I’m sure is unique since this is a popular stop for tourists.
As we continue farther south each day, the air gets colder and colder. More snow is found on the mountains, and everyone bundles up in coats and scarves, hats and gloves. For a girl from Hawaii, this is definitely a change in environment as well as temperature.
I can’t even begin to describe how cold it feels these days. Even more difficult is converting the temperature from Celsius to Farenheit. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it’s usually around 30 to 40 degrees Farenheit during the day and a lot colder at night.
Like all things, this takes some getting used to but I’m really enjoying the cold weather. It’s so different from what I’ve lived in all my life that it’s an anomaly for me. While others are moaning about the cold, I’m embracing it along with an extra layer or two of clothes. I’m not sure how I’ll react when I return to 80 degree weather again, but for now it still thrills me to see my breath.
As if Lake Matheson wasn’t cold enough, we stopped at the Blue Pools where the first of four events was to take place. Our bus driver was giving away a two-for-one bungy jump at Queenstown’s Nevis Bungy, and several guys on the bus were vying for the prize. Of course, the girls on the bus were too smart to even take part in such a thing, but I’m glad the boys did. It was fun to watch.
We parked the bus on the side of the road and hiked down through the woods to the Blue Pools. Even though it was still early in the afternoon, the wind was bitingly cold. This did not deter the boys. Determined to win the prize, the boys stripped down to their swim trunks (or boxers in some case) and set off on a swimming race through the cold water. Crazy? Yes. Disregard for physical health and well begin? Definitely. A hell of a good time for spectators? Amen to that!
I have no idea how they managed to stay in the water after the initial enthusiasm wore off and reality set in. However, they all did and made it across the water to the far rock face and back. After the dust cleared, Mo from Germany was victorious over Rick, Simon and Vim from England. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise after all as Mo jumped into the ocean just for the fun of it on the way to the Pools. Then again, maybe that was the secret to winning?