Nature manifests itself in numerous ways and none more so than on the landscape. One afternoon while staying in Queenstown we decided to take Moti up the 1600 metre to the top of the Remarkables carpark, and we were lucky to have the road and nature completely to ourselves.
At times photographs do not do justice to what one sees such was the case on this afternoon. Climbing the road it seemed like a race against the clouds – one minute we were ahead of them, the next they had moved rapidly by and above us. For a moment, the brown, rugged mountains were fully exposed then, only portions peeked cheekily through the fog and mist. It was eerily beautiful and quite mystical. It would have made a perfect location for an intriguing drama movie. The more cloud that wafted over the mountains the more excited we became.
The journey to the top was slow as there were minimal lay bays to pull off into and when we found one, we used it. Along the way the heavens opened which subsequently created a greater contrast on the mountains, grasses, and rocks. Then the sun shone. The effects of the rain and the sun turned the tussocks a deeper gold, the grey rocks and shist seemed to glisten even stronger. Thanks goodness we could jump in and out of Moti as the weather changed!
With no snow on the mountains and continuing warm temperatures it was hard to picture the area transformed into a bustling ski resort. Preparations for the ski season were underway with workers hustling about in boiler suits, wet weather gear and hard hats. The chairlifts were static as were the ‘piste bashers’, but ready to spring into action when the snow finally arrives.
Following a brief lunch safe inside Moti we ventured down on the return journey. Again, we had the road to ourselves save for a couple of work vehicles. The drivers thought we were crazy judging by the looks they gave us especially when clambering about the edges of the roadside, peering over deep drops, lying on the ground – all in the name of photography. While Chris and I often stand alongside each other to photograph, most often we see things differently.
Just as nature transforms a scene so to it transformed us. At the beginning of the drive we were not firing on all ‘six cylinders’. After four plus hours of being in the outdoors doing what we love, the rush of adrenalin definitely fired all cylinders into action. As the light started to fade, so too did we and Chris needed to reserve his energy to manoeuvre Moti down the remainder of the road. Consequently, it was not an easy drive for him concentrating on the road, and me ‘chimping’ with delight in the navigator’s seat.