While I went to bed around 11:00, slept in two-hour or one0hour increments. Cold is migrating, I think.  Downward. Got up at 6:00 since I was then quite wide awake. Going out at 7:15 to shoot pix of pre-dawn and dawn. Will be around 28 degrees out there. So, I have five layers of clothing on my upper body!

Ended up warmer than we all thought. But this is harbinger of a storm heading our way. We will be gone early tomorrow. Worried it was going to arrive today, but it didn’t. Set up and shot pre-dawn and dawn from 7:15-8:00 looking both at sky brightening up before us and rays of sun hitting the mountains behind us. Lovely. Could see a sliver of the moon by some of the clouds.

8:15 some of us headed up to The Hermitage Hotel for buffet breakfast. Very good, but pricey at $30NZD a person. Then back to Stewart’s room to assess what we were going to do and whether the helicopters out of Glentanner were going to fly. Got the word they could take us up, so drove there (about 15 minutes), weighed in, paid for the ride, then waited. There were 10 of us going up in three helicopters with all getting window seats. It was DP, Jeff, and me in one helicopter with me in front at first and then Donna taking the front seat after our snow landing.

Jeff and I did this in 2005. It’s a flight over Lake Pukaki, toward the Tasman Glacier, by Mt. Cook and the other nearby mountains, and a snow landing where you can walk around for about 10 minutes taking in the view. It was cold and windy, but we were prepared. What an exciting experience for all of us. The best part is the snow landing an unfettered views of all the mountains around us.

Drove back to The Hermitage Hotel for a light meal in their café and then back to our motel. I had thought I was going to join Stewart in the van looking for places to shoot, but it started to rain and I was really tired. Went back to my room (#25 if I haven’t mentioned that before) and worked on images from today.

Given the way I’m feeling (think I have low-grade fever), took some aspirin and am staying in tonight rather than going out for dinner with the group. We need to have luggage out ready to go at 6:45 AM tomorrow for our trip to Queenstown. Hoping I’m better by then.

So, three fantastic experiences here so far: (1) shooting images of the Milky Way with thousands of stars in view, (2) great sunrise with all the clouds you’d ever want to be lit by the Sun before it rises, and (3) the helicopter ride today with the snow landing. All good. All great travelling companions.

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