It was our last weekend in Blenheim and we had one place we had been meaning to visit the whole time we had been based here. Now was our last chance, so when we woke to sunshine we both knew where we were spending our day.
It wasn’t much of a drive out of town, but a fair bit of climbing upwards to get to the car park where we would start our days walk. Far enough up that there was a small amount of snow in one corner of the carpark and a definite chill in the air. As well as some views of snowy peaks across the other side of the valley. From the car park we were walking down into a valley below where there was a hut and a lake. We had caught just a glimpse of Lake Chalice as we drove in and you didn’t get so much as a peek at it as you made your way down the very steep track to it. It was only an hour down and suddenly a clearing and the hut peeks around the curve of the track. The hut is small, basic and far from new, but thoroughly charming. And when you stroll on just a few more metres to the river bed and lake beyond it becomes an infinitely more charming place to spend a night.
We picnicked and spent an hour taking photos and skimming stones across the gorgeous green waters of the lake. Oliver made several objections when it came time to leave but we wanted plenty of time to make our way back up the hill so we left regardless. Though we all regretted not having packed enough gear to spend the night.
As we climbed up at the tired end of our day I pondered that the advantage of climbing up mountains is that by this time of day it’s normally an easy walk downwards. But the satisfaction of making it to the top is the same no matter when you get there. Oliver’s joyous celebrations on making it were testament to that. The whole day felt like a sort of warm up for our next stint of traveling and the real adventuring to resume.