Today was a day of mixed emotions, the concrete has finally been poured! It ended up taking two days to get everything covered. We are definitely ready to move onto the next stage and away from all the ground level work that has had everyone crawling around on their hands and knees – we can finally straighten out! On the other hand, the concrete hides two months solid work on the boxing, foundations, putting the pipes in for the plumbing, installing the insulation and underfloor heating pipes which now run throughout the lounge, massage room, along the hallway and into the bedrooms and en suites so guests should have toasty feet wherever they are in the lodge. It was a fantastic learning curve putting it in and ended up looking just like an element on an old stove which I guess is appropriate just on a larger scale. Before the concrete pour, we had to get the concrete panels into place to support the building given that we are building in a high wind zone. The highest ever wind speed recorded in New Zealand was on top of near by Mount John at Lake Tekapo (only 40 kilometers away) at 250km per hour back in 1970, so while we hope we don’t have a repeat of that anytime soon, the lodge will be built to withstand winds of that speed.The weather in the days leading up to the concrete panels arrival was not ideal, which meant that the truck couldn’t get up the driveway. We had to collect them with a hiab crane which ferried them into place one by one before we braced them and hoped that they would remain in place until the concrete went in. Fortunately they did! The highlight of the day for me wasn’t seeing Mount Cook, clear as a bell framed within one of the concrete panels which Mike captured with his camera but having friends turn up with a bottle of bubbly to celebrate these walls going in which I enjoyed while everyone else struggled with the logistics of getting the panels in place.
The work up until now has felt very repetitive as the ground area is so large 590m2 and progress, although ahead of schedule has felt slow. We are looking forward to seeing the framing go up next week!