Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Steward Island

Steward Island was amazing. For somewhere I only went to as an afterthought, I'd say its probably one of the highlights of my trip so far. The ferry over was something else, a real roller coaster of a ride, with the boat lurching everywhere and the 2 girls attending running up and down the isles changing peoples sick bags. It was brilliant. As soon as you land you can here the bird life that is everywhere, and feel the pace of life slow down - the locals know how to take things easy.

I booked into the Rakiura
track soon after arriving and picked up my rented stove and accessories from a lovely "office" in the middle of the forest. The walk was really beautiful, through forests of tree ferns and moss, with occasional beach views - a bit like the Abel Tasman trek on the mainland at times. I was on the lookout for the elusive Kiwi at all times, but only had clear sightings of deer, possum and various small birds, until the 3rd day when I got a glimpse of something disappearing into the bushes that might just have been one. Most of the fellow trampers were German/Dutch/Swiss/Kiwi and the huts were nice and cosy places to stay. Walking through the forests here you really do get the feeling that we have royally fcuked up the planet and that this is the way it should look and sound. Another 3 days of beautiful weather to boot. Ferry back was pretty calm - almost disappointingly so.

I jumped on the bottom bus back in Invercargill and regained my seat up front with Paul the driver, who seeme3d to love to quiz me about everything and anything, especially how I came to know Clare. He was a bit of a character. Arrived in Te Anau and decided to wait a day before starting the Kepler track so that the weather would be cleared, so we enjoyed a nice relaxing day doing nothing in particular.

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