Earlier on in the day, I had bumped into a couple who I was talking to at the hostel and I suggested that we walk to Cowan’s Hill to see the stars that night. It looked like it was going to be a clear night (yeah!) and they were keen to do this. So at about 8.15pm, we headed off and it took us about an hour to get there. Daniel is from Dunedin, New Zealand and Nadine, is from Leeds, in the UK and has been living in Dunedin for four years. They’re really nice people and I’m so glad I went with them. By the time we got there, it was already dark. Daniel had brought a torch with him but it was such a bright night, we didn’t need it.
The Milky Way and the Southern Cross were shining in all their beautiful glory, along with all the other stars in the sky. Another slice of heaven! I saw one really clear shooting star and made a wish. It came from the direction of the Southern Cross. God it was wonderful to see. I was delighted. It was like being in heaven. I was so lucky to have the chance to see such amazing bright stars. The whole sky was spread out before us like a blanket of jewels that seemed to go on forever.
We also watched the moon rise over Cowan’s Hill horizon at about 10.30pm. God that was magical! Daniel said it was due to rise about that time and it did. That wasn’t in the plan. I was just happy enough to see the myriad of stars in the sky but it was an even better surprise to be there to see the moon rise. You could see the sky getting a bit brighter where the moon was rising and very slowly but surely, the moon peeped its head over a layer of cloud just about the horizon.
Before it rose fully, every couple of minutes you could see a tiny bit of white light emerging over the top of the horizon and another line of white light to the east of that, spreading over the rim of cloud. It was a waning moon and just to see it slowly come over the horizon was wonderful. I’ve never seen that happen before, so it was another first for me. I hope that memory will stay imprinted on my mind till the day I die. At about 10.45pm we headed back to the hostel. I was so glad that I went there. It was an amazing finish to the day and I not only got my wish of having a clear night but I was blessed with seeing a shooting star and the magic of watching the moon rise over Cowan’s Hill.
I got a phonecall on my way back to the hostel, from Marion Seymour, who I’d been in contact with the last time I was here about the Mc Auley River. She wanted to find out if I had managed to get up to the Mc Auley Hut. You see I had been trying to get the chance to meet up with her while I was here. I told her I didn’t manage to get there but throughout the conversation I found out that she had been in Twizel and Mt. Cook the same day that I was there, a few days ago only and we missed each other again. Well we both didn’t know what each other looked like, so even if I had seen her on the street I wouldn’t have known her to say hello. But I think it was obvious that this wasn’t the time to meet her. She said that when I’m back in the area again that I could stay with her for a night or two. When I’m back again I’ll definitely contact her in advance and try to meet up with her.