|Lake Wanaka in the Clouds|
Today is a rest day - or was meant to be! It's still overcast and drizzly, but looked a little brighter after breakfast, so I decided to go for a short walk (3 miles) to Diamond Lake and an overlook with a view of Lake Wanaka - and of the high mountains on a good day. I thought the start of the walk was 6 km up the Mt. Aspiring valley, but I misunderstood and it was actually 12 miles by the time I got there (just round the next corner...). So I ended up cycling about 25 miles on my rest day. Still, I don't have a long day tomorrow.
It was drizzling harder at the start of the hike. Walking in the drizzle seems to be what you do in NZ, because quite a few others were doing the same thing. The walk past Diamond Lake and up through dripping woods was nice, and the view from the overlook was pretty, with the lake disappearing up valley into the misty distance. Presumably it's better in the sun, though. A couple of tall waterfalls on the other side of the valley were distant but dramatic, probably benefitting from the rain. This is actually a very dry part of the country - about the same amount of rainfall as Los Angeles - so the locals are happy for some rain.
I got back to Wanaka about 2pm and didn't do much else the rest of the day - a muffin for lunch, writing a couple of postcards and doing some e-mail, and just wandering about. I waterproof-sprayed my pants and oiled my bike chain, which was sounding rather dry after all the drenchings. There was a brief spot of sunshine late in the afternoon, but the clouds are still low over the mountains, and the forecast for the next couple of days is not very good. Oh well, we'll see.