Day 123 Just Wow!
Monday 10 February West Sabine Hut to halfway along Lake Constance Start 7.30 am Finish 3pm ish Distance 10km Total 1992.5km Steps 13,909 Elevation 800m Weather: Stunning This is the view from where I am sitting. I haven't had to move an inch. Right behind me is my tent. I am looking over Lake Constance, the Franklin Ridge Range, and to the right of the ranges I can see Waiau Pass.
There is no one else around. The sun is warming my back, there is a slight breeze and I have a butterfly keeping me company. I have found this knoll elevated above the lake, just off the track. The intention had been to carry on to the lake head but this was just too beautiful so I have stayed. It is a reflection of the rest of my day. Easy going, stopping whenever I want, for however long I felt like, no pressure at all, and just breathing in everything around me. It began at 7.30am, with the intention of a short day and tackling the Waiau Pass tomorrow on fresh legs. The hut warden had said there were places to camp at the head of Lake Constance so that seemed like an ideal destination. After an hour of walking along a gently inclining track from West Sabine Hut, following a river, I stopped on a large rock to take a photo. As I sat there the sun peaked over the ridge, bathed me in sunlight and made the water sparkle. I didn't move for quite some time.
I eventually carried on only to find the fattest and friendliest Toutouwai (robin), just 20 minutes later. That called for another long break as the Toutouwai fossicked around me. I think he may have been expecting me to feed him the way he pecked at my pack. A short time later I walked through a cloud of small orange butterflies, just like the ones that used to be on 2c and 5c stamps a very long time ago.* It wasn't even 10am yet! The track continued to follow the river, at times there were raging rapids, contrasted by the gentle babbling brooks of crystal clear water feeding the main river. I'm sure you have guessed I was firmly in my happy place, about to burst at the seams from the absolute beauty and tranquility of it all. And yet the best of the day was yet to come. The Blue Lake! The clearest water in the world. Almost as clear as distilled water. Nelsonians this is in our back yard! Go there. Take the Sabine track which is a great all levels tramp. A bucket list item higher than the Tongiriro Crossing.
After a long time enjoying the lake I eventually continued, catching the first glimpses of the ranges I would climb tomorrow, with the turquoise waters of Lake Constance in the valley below. I constantly stopped, sat down and gaped in awe. And that is how I find myself on my little knoll overlooking paradise. There is no place I would rather be right this very moment.
* This is the cloud of butterflies I saw. It was actually on a 1/2 cent stamp! Can you imagine when you could get something for half a cent!!!