My fall into spring

We’re back home in the Adirondacks.  There’s still some snow on the ground and the rivers and lakes are high.  Our last three weeks in New Zealand were pushing into fall and we were in the southern most part of the South Island.  We enjoyed coal stoves in the huts and the heater in our camper van.  We flew from cold fall to cold spring.  But there’s hope for things warming up.  I heard frogs and pheasants and saw turkeys and a bluebird.  The gig is up for the deer though.  I think they have been hanging around the house while we were away. When we were eating dinner the other night, four walked onto the driveway and looked at us as if they were thinking, “what are you doing here?”

Unfortunately, my camera died when we were just taking the boat to the Milford Track’s starting point in New Zealand. So all my photos were taken on my phone.  I brought two cameras and a phone to Deal Island just in case. My new Nikon camera developed a dark spot in the center of every picture.  The Olympus camera’s pop out lens got stuck for the fourth time.  The Nikon is still under warranty, and miraculously I found the paperwork and will send that in.  The Olympus was under a Geek Squad contract and has had three strikes and I am finally entitled to a new camera.  The camera broke on March 27, my contract expired April 8 and I brought it in April 11!!  I pled my case to a sympathetic manager and was granted a new camera.  Woohoo!  I still can’t find my keys and have combed all our bags and the house.  There’s a slim chance I packed them in the box I shipped on the slow boat from Tasmania.  It may get here in a couple of months.  I don’t even remember what I had keys for.  Miraculously, I remembered the combination to the post office box though; not with my mind, with my hands.  Interesting.

These pictures are from the first walk, the Milford Track, one of the finest walks in the world.  We spent 4 days, walking 43.5 kms.  At night, we slept in huts with 40 other hikers.  We were lucky to only have rain one day.  I didn’t cry.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lord of the rings?

Our last day on the Milford Track was a bit of a slog.  We had a boat to catch, our longest walk, 11 miles, in the rain and met a local celebrity along the way.  Maybe. I thought he was a sweet old man on the track who I hadn’t slept with.  (I slept with our group of forty hikers for three nights).

He was very helpful and told us where we were most likely to slip on the wet rocks and fall off a cliff into the Arthur River.  Then he told us to stop because he was going to make a loud noise.

He pulled a ram’s horn out of his pack and blew into it.  The echo reverberated for nine seconds in the canyon.  He tod us he made the horns for the movie and helped rock climbers set up the cameras. Then he walked with me for about a mile.  Later, Tim pointed out  he wasn’t wearing any pants.  He did have gaiters on though.
.Mitre Peak

Post Milford Track

We are relaxing after our four day, 33  mile walk on the Milford Sound. We experienced two days of rain and debated the meaning of the forecast: showers clearing or showers, clearing.  Either way, we got wet.  

I didn’t tackle side trips so opted  not to climb McKinnon Pass, elevation 1000+ meters, when the sky was clear the day before we really had to climb it. It was clouded over by the time I got there the next day and then we had to climb down it.

Naturally, my camera broke for good on the boat ride across Lake Te Anau en route to the start of the walk and I was left with only my phone.

We slept in huts with 38 other walkers.  I won a top bunk most nights, which was a challenge to get out of in the middle of the night.  I am looking forward to the Routeburn Track, where we get to share a bed with eight other people.  But tonight, a hot shower, glass of wine, private bed and lots of ibuprofen.

RainbowMcKinnon Pass