I lost them! Yip, thousands of photos ... just like that!
It happened while I was installing an update and my computer froze. It's never, ever done that before. I used my iPad to google how to fix it, but it was hopeless. Nothing I did made a difference.
So, the next day we drove to Timaru and took it to an IT techie. It turned out the hard drive had been wiped and sadly I hadn't backed it up for 9 months. Crazy!
Recently I'd written an article for RV Travel Lifestyle magazine on the Mackenzie Lupins and I had photos to support the article. Well, I did have photos - until the computer crashed. So I was keen to get out and take some more. The good thing was, the lupins were still flowering (just) so I had time to go and photograph them again. Phew!
And in among all the lupins were the tourists!
Not far from here is 'Irishman Creek'. My mum lived there for a year when she was a child. Now, there's not much to mark the spot other than a dinky little building.
Last time I'd driven along this stretch of road I'd noticed a stream with lupins growing along the riverbank, beside the 'Tekapo Military Training Camp', so I headed for that. I clambered down the side of the bridge and down a gravel bank but stopped when I read these signs! 'Danger Keep Out'
'Live Firing Range'
'Explosions and Live Firing may Occur at Anytime'.
I was keen to get some photos of lupins - but not that keen!!!
I knew there were still some lupins flowering on the east side of Lake Tekapo, so that's where I headed next. But not before taking a detour to see the temporary fencing going up around The Church of the Good Shepherd. Due to the amount of tourists stopping and trampling over the grounds, littering and entering the church when services are in progress (despite being asked not to), a fence had to be erected.
It's a shame it had to come to this - here's hoping people will now respect the area.
One positive thing about the fence is that it's easy to take a photo of the church without the shot being photo bombed by tourists!
About ten minutes out of Lake Tekapo is a bridge named 'Edwards Bridge', I'd noticed lupins on the side of the stream below as we'd crossed the bridge coming home from Timaru. So I parked the car and walked along the river to get some photos.
I love wandering along knowing I have all the time in the world to enjoy the scenery and take it all in. Being beside a stream with beautiful coloured flowers everywhere was so special.
Every few metres a little rabbit would dart out from a clump of lupins and race off to find a safe spot to hide.
As you can imagine the smell was heavenly. The wind was started to get quite strong so getting a shot of a lupin standing upright was almost impossible.
I headed home feeling pleased I had my lupin photos again. As I was getting nearer to Lake Pukaki I noticed the wind was becoming gusty and by the time I arrived at the rig it was blowing a gale. For the next three hours we were shaken and rattled. It felt like the van was going to be blown over. And the noise!
But to compensate for the din, nature displayed another special sunset.
Once the sun sunk behind the mountains, the wind eased, and it was silent again. And, all was forgiven.