We packed up and grabbed breakfast in Te Anau with sore muscles and happy hearts. Got picked up from the hotel and drove to lake Manapouri where a boat took us to the other side of the lake where another bus took us through native bush millions of years old over to Doubtful Sound (named by Captain Cook because he was doubtful he could sail in do he didn’t). Boarded our boat and took an amazing cruise through the U shaped Fiords siting seals near the heads. Truely beautiful. We had a couple of minutes of forced silence in one bay as we all took in the beauty and sounds of raw NZ. Stunning. Got back to Te Anau then drove home to Chch where Dan Abel was still staying so nice to catch up with him and see Amy again after only seeing her for one day when she arrived back from China ❤️.
Stunning walk and experiences and we are hooked for future great walks, bodies permitting!
26 January 2018
Day 3 and the sun was shining! 2 Keas paid us a visit first thing outside our room. We took off at 8.30am and walked up hill a little but mostly flat all the way. There were beech trees fern infested pathways rivers and wetlands. We stopped not long before Motatau Hut for swim in lake Manapouri where we ate lunch. Had another swim at the hut. Very pretty with a lawn rolling down to the sand and lake. Relaxed for a bit then walked on to Rainbows reach where we met the van which took me back to the Destinction Hotel. Darryl walked a couple of hours more to the Control Gates Kepler Car Park without a pack. My day was 6.5 hours walking or 9 hours total, Darryl walked about 8.5 hours. Ouch! Feel surprisingly good probably thanks to Voltaren mostly on my part, Darryl thinks his walking poles have super powers and is now a convert. Darryl caught a ride back and drinks and dinner at the bar were hoovered down.
25 January 2018
The bird life was incredible though and we saw the cute black and white sth island Robyn a grey warbler and a wood pigeon. I really started seizing up and struggled for the last hour and a half. I hate downhill. Pole’s worked well though and Darryl did amazingly with such a heavy pack on. Took us 6 hours 40 which is longer than predicted 5-6 hours. Everyone found it hard and challenging though. Made it to Iris Burn Hut and chilled on the deck with fruit cake and tea. Tea is the new beer! Darryl walked to the waterfall 20 minutes away while I chilled. Dinner was dehydrated and average but met a nice English couple, she worked for save the children and a couple from Washington DC. Slept well although Darryl was a bit nervous after snoring like a freight train the night before.
Day 2 was HARD. Left the hut at 8.30 in light showers and wind and had that for 2 thirds of the way. The climb was decent but battling the weather made it a bit harder. Unfortunately visibility was poor and we missed a lot of the views over to the lake and deep valleys. Walking along the ridge was amazing and we literally walked along the point of the mountain with reasonable winds swirling around us. There were also areas of massive sharp boulder land slides that looked very precarious and earthquakes were mentioned more than once. When we got to Mt Luxmore we (stupidly) climbed it’s rocky side with big winds and rain really lashing. I stopped before the top but action man went right up don’t think anyone else was so mad. We made our way to a shelter and huddled in for lunch with Robert our oceanographer mate. Weather improved not long after the ridge line when we made the tree line and then it was a major downhill. Really steep and narrow and it went on forever.
24 January 2018
First day we had breaky at Takahe cafe then water taxied to B Bay. You walk straight into beautiful beech forests and lush ferns and moss with that amazing moist smell of native NZ. We skipped the walk from the car park to save my bod and although the walk was relatively up hill all the way the gradient was good getting a little steeper near the top of the tree line then gentle up hill walking into the hut. Met an older guy who was a oceanographer and walked with him the last half. The Hut was really tidy and good sized kitchen dining area. Great views also from Luxmore Hut. Walked to the caves nearby that had limestone deposits from the roof. Good day of mostly sun, some rain and wind and bodies feeling great. Very happy!