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Flexing our Walking Legs Again

Monday 23rd November 2015

semi-overcast 18 °C

It was our intention today to explore the area bit more and go for a proper walk. Most of the roads beyond the lodge are gravel and as much as we didn't like going on unsealed roads, if we were going to see anything of the countryside we were going to have bite the bullet so to speak. We drove back past the power station and along Lake Coleridge Road the way we had come yesterday. Just a few miles along there is a left hand turn called Homestead Road. Initially this is still tarmac but soon turned into a dirt road, but fortunately one with very little other traffic. Shortly after, it forks with the road to the right going to Lake Lyndon and then onto SH75 which goes up to Arthur's Path (visited by us when on the Transalpine Train). To the left Harper Road runs parallel but out of sight of Lake Coleridge. It was this road that we took continuing for about 25 minutes until we reached a small place between Lakes Evelyn and Selfie where we could pull off the road and park the car before starting our walk to Lake Ida. The weather up the valley looked quite threatening and we had a brief conversation with another walker to that effect. It was also very blustery and so we had coats and woolly hats with us. Initially the walk took us along level ground on the valley floor before the path started to wind up round the side of the hill between the two lakes.

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This gave us great views of Lake Evelyn and as we got out of the direct line of the valley, out of the wind. Gradually coats and hats were removed as we got warmer and we carried on climbing. The walk was graded as moderate due probably to the gradient and the narrowness of the track. Fortunately although quite steep in parts it wasn't too technically difficult and the track was clearly marked with orange posts and never went higher than about a third of the way up the hill. As we got round and into the next valley there were really nice views of the U Shaped glacier valley.

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The path levelled out for a while before starting to descend and curve round in towards Mount Ida and the lake. Once we entered into a small group of pine trees we knew that we were almost at our destination. The lake feels quite isolated and the wind picked up as it blew down the valley off the mountains.

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There is a disused lodge there that used to service skaters that would come to the lake in winter. For some reason the local farmer finally stopped the skating club from using it in 2001. Now it is falling into disrepair and slightly spoils the feel of the area. We sat down on a bench by the Lake and ate the lunch kindly packed up for us by Toni. After we had a little explore, Nigel had a good noisy round the lodge, we started to make our way back. The climb in this direction was more gentle although I trod quite carefully once we started to descend back into the valley between Evelyn and Selfie.

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We were both quite tired after our walk despite the fact that we had only covered just under five miles. Once back in the car we continued up the gravel road to what is known as the Harper Diversion which is where the Harper River has been partially diverted into Lake Coleridge in order to increase the water flow through the power station. We ended up near the top end of Lake Coleridge but couldn't get right up to the shore due to large amount of water flowing somewhat indiscriminately from the river.

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We traced our route about half way back along Harper Road and then turned down a side track alongside the Ryton River which then gave us much better views of Lake Coleridge and Peak Hill which overlooks it.

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By this point we were ready to go back to the Lodge and just relax for a couple of hours before we had another delicious meal served to us by Toni.

Posted by Gill's Travels 21:20 Archived in New Zealand

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