I’m going to give you the best travel tip I’ve learned thus far: you must remain flexible. Things will not always go your way – guaranteed. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus would say, “the only thing that is constant is change.”
So you have to be ok with letting things go. Plans, expectations, goals. Sometimes things just don’t work out, and that’s ok. There’s another time and place for your goal, but today just wasn’t it. (Of course there is a marked difference between accepting circumstances and giving up. But I assume you know that).
So that brings us to today: the day we planned to walk Hooker Valley Track, but ultimately did not walk Hooker Valley Track due to sideways rain.
When we left our wonderful little town of Twizel, it was a crisp partly cloudy day. But as we got closer and closer to Mt Cook’s base, we realized that they had a different jet stream / altitude / fancy term for different weather than down at Twizel. And that weather was a cold sideways rain.
We walked into the visitor center to get more information, and we learned that the rain wasn’t planning to clear out until tomorrow. So we made our decision: hiking was not our path for today.
But then that begged the question: what do we do today??
So we researched what the surrounding towns had to offer, and I’m going to be honest, I was surprised by our results!
First stop: lavender farm!
Hanging out on the side of a highway was a beautiful lavender farm, cafe, and gift shop. We snapped some photos, smelled some nice things, bought some nice things. Overall, great stop.
Second stop: Mt. John Observatory Cafe
Turns out, this small little town called Tekapo is one of the best places in the world to see stars. And because of this, they have a huge observation dome at the highest point in the city (with tickets starting at $150 per person. A bit too rich for us). They also had a cafe with stellar views across Lake Tekapo, and that’s where we enjoyed coffee and a chicken pot pie.
Third stop: shopping!
So, summer is a lie here. It’s still really cold. Though I’ve braved my way through Iceland, Ireland, and Scotland in cold temperatures, I’m tired of doing it. So I bought myself a nice waterproof jacket. And now I’m warm and happy.
Fourth stop: hot springs!
Tekapo is also known for their hot springs! So Molly and spent the rest of our evening relaxing in the warm, 106 degree hot springs (that smelled an awful lot like a normal, chlorinated pool). We soaked and talked for hours.
So you see, sometimes things just don’t work out, but instead of ruining your day with a sour attitude, learn to be flexible. You’ll have a better travel experience, I promise. Because fun fact – I really liked today.