I like yachting. I especially like watching the America’s Cup or Round-The-World races. However, I was captivated by another class of yachts that I stumbled across at lunch time a few days ago … model yachts.
While 12-15 pilots intently walked the shore making critical adjustments to their radio controls, the ducks and swans politely observed some unofficial right-of-way rules. I must have missed the fleet start, so couldn’t capture a photo with more than 3-4 yachts in any one frame … so just imagine the lake is bigger, and there are more yachts out racing.
I must admit that watching these small, sleek yachts swiftly navigating a course of small bouys, all while enjoying the autumn sun and a gentle breeze, makes for the most enjoyable lunch time break.
Take lunch out into the park instead of eating out or staying in the office lunch room … and if you have the opportunity to watch some model yachts – take some time to do just that.
As a parent, I’m very interested in teaching our kids important life lessons – like ‘treat other people the way you want to be treated’. Sometimes the lack of noticeable progress can be quite frustrating, and other times they clearly demonstrate that something has sunk in (even if it’s only briefly).
This past summer we visited Lake Tekapo for a few days, and I wanted to share one moment with you. Even although the lake water is quite cold due to the glacier runoff, I took the kids for a swim at a spot where the water was supposedly a little warmer. While there, they found a large concrete block some distance from the shore on which to sun themselves warm after getting sufficiently cold playing in the water. I snapped this photo while they were relaxing, sharing a snack, and soaking up the warmth of the sun. It seemed to capture a glimpse of the positive sibling bond that can be shared between brothers and sister – as opposed to sibling rivalry which is much, much more common.
It would be nice if they could have more of these moments of friendship and cooperation, even throughout the teenage years. I am posting the photo as a reminder to myself that there’s always hope.
Don’t give up on an adventure just because the water is too cold, or some other seemingly unpleasant impediment … something surprising may happen as a result.
My son Luke was recently a good neighbour to the man living next door to the holiday house we had rented in Lake Tekapo (he had offered to help dig a hole that the man was digging in his garden). The man was so taken by this offer, that he offered Luke a free flight around the Southern Alps the next day. So the next day, we went for a flight …! Before we got to the mountains, we passed over one of the spectacular braided rivers that are found in New Zealand. From what I understand, many people have not seen a braided river, so I thought I would simply attach a few photos to give you a glimpse of one from the air.
I also thought it would be a good idead to attach a close up view, so you can better see the detail of this braided river. The colour of the river is natural, and is typical of glacier melt … I believe it’s how the silica particles in the water reflect the light.
Given the circumstances, I thought I should also add a photo of Luke standing in front of the plane that we went up in. It was a perfect day for a flight, without any clouds to speak of.
Teach your kids to be a good neighbour … and don’t turn down free flights when they’re on offer.
A visit to Wanaka isn’t usually the top of anybody’s so-called bucket list. After all, New Zealand is a long way away from everybody in the world (except for a small number of hardy locals). However, this vibrant community has been branded The World’s First Protected Lifestyle Reserve for good reason, and it’s worth making the journey from wherever you call home.
Our family visited for a week, and each of us wanted to stay longer. You too will feel the intoxicating atmosphere and helplessly succomb to thoughts of immigration. It’s not just the allure of a picturesque lake surrounded by textured mountains raising their jagged teeth into the crisp and clean southern hemisphere sky, it’s the people who make a place memorable. Wanaka is a melting pot of people on a small and intimate scale, and seems to include mostly those who are friendly and outgoing in nature … whether the few who are blessed to be a permanent resident, or the international travelers who ebb and flow through this gateway to paradise.
While Wanaka feels surrounded by mountains, it doesn’t feel claustraphobic at all; rather it’s invigorating and somehow private, like finding a hidden nugget of gold like the early pioneers so eagerly sought. The town indeed started from gold rush in the 1860’s, although I believe the greatest rewards are the views above, and not what lies buried beneath.
Queenstown is known by many as the Adventure Mecca of the World, yet Wanaka is just a short drive over the Crown Range, and in many respects is the more comfortable and relaxing of the two. The winter thrill seeker is equally close to the treeless ski slopes which overlook spectacular vistas of lake and mountain, while the more adventurous have heliski options that stretch the imagination. Four seasons provide a wide variety for the pursuit of outdoor activity and summer activities abound, although our visit was just in time for the first day of the ski season. I find myself compelled to plan another trip back, for there is so much to do and so many things to see … one week just isn’t enough, nor just one season. What are the immigration rules again?
Rent a warm house with a nice fire during the winter months, preferably walking distance from the lake (not a difficult task). Visit the Puzzling World and make your way through the 3-D maze before enjoying your favourite coffee over the mind-bending puzzles (don’t forget to look for the many optical illusions).