On tour today, the weather started to close in as we drove north. It was hailing and sleeting at the River Anduin, but after Isengard it really began to look grim. We continued further north, and drove over the hills into the Pakuratahi Valley, where the Kaitoke Park is situated (and Rivendell within the forest).
As we drove over the hillrange, a totally new sight greeted us, and the "grim" turned to "fairy tale".
In my seven and a half years as a fulltime LOTR tourguide, I haven't seen Rivendell like this. Once, in 2004, there was a slight sprinkling of snow on the ground but this was full on. Compare this picture from then (and note the old style sign was still there, as you'll see in Ian Brodie's LOTR Location Guidebook):
If you've been to Rivendell before, you may remember this tree as well:
|Tree opposite Frodo's Bedroom|
The park was full of Wellington children who couldn't believe their luck; snow - closeby, AND during their school holidays. In fact, all along the road back there were cars stopped beside the road with snowball fights breaking out, and snowmen being built. Hopefully for them the snow stays for a few days, but now that I have my photos I'm happy for the sun to return! :)
One more photo:
|The Rivendell information sign|
I drove through the area late yesterday, and there was no snow there at all, so this all happened in the last 24 hours. Awesome!