NZ DAY 115
QUEENSTOWN: A Zero day to work on the website
Spent the day today in Macca’s using their free WiFi planning our next backcountry walk. Also splashed out on 2 famous “Fergburgers” . David had a Bullseye.... a rib eye steak topped with caramelised onions cheese lettuce and tomato. I had the Cockadoodle Oink..... a crumbed chicken breast bacon avocado lettuce tomatoe and Spanish onion.These burgers have become so famous you have to stand in line for anywhere between 30-60 minutes to place your order. Then wait another 15-30 minutes to get your burger. Rating : the bun was delicious and there was a huge piece of crumb chicken in the burger lots of filling great value but I wouldn’t line up again .
HIGHLIGHT: Have to say the burger didn’t disappoint
LOWLIGHT: Missing Sam it’s one of the things that make this choice of life hard.
Grateful for the sun shining even if it’s cold, Grateful for being able to chat with Sam. This is a double edge sword as it makes me miss her more. The luxury of sitting in Macca’s with free Wi Fi.
NZ DAY 114
ROUTBURN TRACK: Routeburn Flat to Routeburn Shelter 8KM (Total KM's walked 1230)
Well today we had 8km to walk out to the finish of the Routburne track and it rained the whole way. But luckily not much wind. Discussion with the ranger this morning indicated that the track up to the saddle would most likely be closed today because of the wind so again the Universe has looked after us. If we had been able to get accommodations at McKenzie Lake we would have missed out on going over the saddle because of the weather.
HIGHLIGHT: The achievement of making it to camp it was a hard day at the office but one that was worthwhile.
LOWLIGHT: how bloody sore my knees are, coming down over shale and slippery stone took its toll.
Gratitude today has to be to the universe everything worked out perfectly enabling us to see some spectacular country side. Grateful for the Taj this tent is truly the best , we have room to live inside it, it stays perfectly dry and warm and is so light. Third gratitude then has to go to the Spunky Rooster who researched tents and found the perfect tent.
NZ DAY 113
ROUTEBURN TRACK: The Divide to Routeburn Flats Campground 27KM( Total KM's walked 1222)
What an epic day up at 5am to grab a lift to the start of the Routeburn Track. So in pitch blackness we started the climb up to Harris Saddle. By the time we had reach Lake Howden it look like the weather gods may have smiled on us again with the fog starting to lift. Reached Lake Mackenzie by 10.15am and we could see snippets of blue sky. So we forged on with the hope that when we reached the saddle it would be clear enough to get a great view. Well the climb was interesting and very exposed to the weather . It did however give us glimpses of the valley ( Hollyford Valley and Darren Mountains)and a couple of shots of the peaks but alas when we reached the saddle is was fogged in and bitterly cold from the wind. So we were resign to the fact that out 6 hour climb was not going to give us the views we had hoped and it is true that on the Harris Saddle it was like looking porridge. However on the other side the views were amazing. mountains with snow, big valleys, waterfalls and small lakes it was SPECTACULAR. The walk down as difficult with the track cut into rock face of the mountain, and with the moisture in the air it was slippery. We finally made it down as it started to rain, the tent went up in minutes and everything was thrown inside a quick dinner in the shelter then back to the sanctuary of the tent.
HIGHLIGHT: The views
LOWLIGHT: Not quite nailing the weather at the top.
Grateful today for us, The Global Hobos. We have both adapted our behaviours to be able to negotiate this new life with joy and anticipation. Today we both put in a huge physical day to achieve an assault on the saddle within the a small window of opportunity...so proud of both of us. So grateful for our cozy tent. Grateful for the Spunky Rooster and his love and support.
NZ DAY 112
HOLLYFORD TRACK : Hidden Falls Hut to Lower Hollyford Road 9KM (Total number of KM's walked 1195)
Today is a sad day we finished the Hollyford Track the walk out was just as special as the track. Just before the end there is an amazing water junction where Swamp Creek joins the Hollyford River. We took photos however the photos don’t do the junction justice. We walked out of the Hollyford Track into the visitors car park and started to walk the 9km to Gunns about 200m from the car park is a side trip to see a waterfall so we ducked in to take a look. Sitting having lunch were 2 ladies and they asked would we like a coffee and David said no but we could do with a lift to Gunns and she said ok "give me a couple of minutes and I will take you". Thank you hitching gods. When we reached Gunns Campground, Babish ( the angel that picked us up) said would you like a beer? David’s nearly cried with joy. Gunns’s campground is a relic in that it has wood fire boiler for the showers it’s like stepping back in time, but great location. Our camp is on the banks of the Hollyford River. The Spunky Rooster and I kept ourselves entertained by daring each other to go deeper and deeper into the freezing river. David won, he was brave enough to dive in. I could only brave up to my boobs.
HIGHLIGHT: Hidden Falls
LOWLIGHT: Finishing the track
Grateful for simplicity I love how basic our life has become, we sleep eat and walk. On hard days we have to plan. Grateful for spontaneity- when we can create fun and laughter from a dip in a river. Grateful for all the love I have in my life from the Spunky Rooster, my gorgeous daughter my mum and my amazing friends.
NZ DAY 111
HOLLYFORD TRACK : Lake Alabaster to Hidden Falls 12KM ( Totally KM's Walked 1186)
Today was a great day the walk was really easy and David and I just had a lot of fun playing games with each other. Today’s walk took us past Little Homer Falls which we clambered down to the base and got some great shots. We also got glimpses of Mt Madeline and Mount Tutoko the Fiordland highest mountain. Tonight’s hut in situated in a clearing next to the Hollyford river, when we arrived David and I cut a path through the scrub and we had amazing 360 degree views of mountains show cased against the bluest of skiers. It was picture perfect however as usual we forgot to bring the camera .The afternoon was glorious. We really have been gifted with the best weather.
HIGHLIGHT: Having fun with David
LOWLIGHT: The bloody sandflies. They really are the most annoying little bastards.
I am so grateful for time, we have taken our time to walk the Hollyford track and it has been really good fun. I am grateful for the huts as they are nice and warm. I am grateful for no Internet access so David and I played pot, which as really nice.
NZ DAY 110
HOLLYFORD TRACK : Demon Trail Hut to Lake Alabaster Hut 11KM ( Total KM's Walked 1174)
Today was another gorgeous day with the scenery picture perfect. The trail was a lot easier than yesterday still a bit of rock scrambling. The landscape is drying up so not as much time spent tramping in water but a lot more mud. Had a bit of fun creating small sidetrack around the worst of the mud. These trails are just perfect for us as they give David a bit of variety but they aren’t to scary for me. Really enjoying this time with the Spunky Rooster
HIGHLIGHT: Have to say today’s highlight goes to my cuddles this morning with the Spunky Rooster.
LOWLIGHT: Being eaten alive by sandflies.
Grateful for being able to walk in this beautiful landscape it is truely magnificent. I am grateful for the growth in my mindset , I am getting quicker to recognise unresourceful attitudes and beliefs. As always I’m grateful to the universe for the weather and giving us the signs that made it to easy to make the decision to pack up and become a Hobos.
NZ DAY 109
HOLLYFORD TRACK: Hokuri Hut to Demon Trail Hut 14KM ( Total KM's Walked 1163)
Today was a hard day. Lots of ups and down in rocky terrain. The scenery is beautiful, on one side you have Lake McKerrow with mountains and huge gully’s, on the other side you have rainforest with intermittent water falls many that the track follows. My feet were wet for most of the day. There were 3 big a slips where the track was completely wash away. David had to navigate around the slips, we had to bush bash for a bit some of the bush bashing was a bit nasty to say the least. One of the wash outs had brought down a tree containing a wasp nest so there were wasps everywhere for about 20 meters.
HIGHLIGHT: The beautiful waterfalls and not being stung by a wasp
LOWLIGHT: My bloody clumsiness that has caused me a headache and a grazed leg.
Today I am grateful for the track it seemed to know when I had had enough and it smoothed out. Grateful for the swing bridges being very stable so I didn’t feel to scared. Grateful as always to the magic of the universe and being able to experience nature at its most spectacular.
NZ DAY 108
HOLLYFORD TRACK: Martins Bay to Hokuri Hut 13KM ( Total KM's walked 1149)
Today’s was probably the nicest trail we have walked to date. It was picturesque, reasonably trail with some difficult sections. Part of today’s walk as following the shore line of Lake McKerrow which would have been lovely for a dip if it had been warm. We had to traverse creeks and do a little bit of climbing but all of this was set against the backdrop of soaring mountains and lush green canopy. It was very special. Love that I am feeling more confident in this environment. Today I nailed the three wire bridge.
HIGHLIGHT: The amazing waterfalls that are everywhere you would not believe the difference that one night of rain makes.
LOWLIGHT: No lowlights I am loving this trail
Today I am grateful for the Spunky Rooster's patience and love as he talked me over some very high wire bridges. I am grateful that no wasps got to sting me. I am grateful for the water not being freezing we walked in some kind of water all day.
NZ DAY 107
HOLLY FORD TRACK: Te Anu to Martins Bay Bus and fly 2KM ( Total KM's walked 1136)
New Zealand you have done it again. We have just flown over the Milford sound and it was breathtaking. Sorry the pictures just don’t do it justice. It was grand on a epic level. We then hiked 2km to Martins Bay Hut to the start of the Hollyford track. The next 5 days will be exploring much of the same terrain as the Milford track. A short walk from the hut is a seal colony so after dropping our packs we headed of to find the seals. OMG the cubs are so cute and we could get really close. The ocean here is very like the bottom of South Australia wild and unkempt
HIGHLIGHT: The flight over Milford sound
LOWLIGHT: The bloody sandflies
Gratitude today is easy the scenery was fantastic and the weather was 100% better than we anticipated.
I am also grateful for the very cute seals that played around me long enough that I could get some great photos.
NZ DAY 106
Bus Queenstown to Te Anu 4KM (Total KM's walked 1134)
Today we left Queenstown to make our way to the start of the Hollyford Track. We took the intercity bus to Te Anu where tommorow we will be picked up by a shuttle that will take us to Milford Sound. One of the things we didn’t account for when coming of the TA was the logistic of getting from trail head to trail head. Whereas on the TA you walk everywhere, doing these disjointed trails it can be time consuming and costly to get from place to place. This was especially true for the Hollyford, it’s a logistical nightmare that has blown the budget
1. Intercity bus from Queenstown to Te Anu
2. Overnight in Te Anua
3. Shuttle from Te Anua to Milford sounds airport
4, 15 minute flight from Milford Sound Airport to Martins
So the track better be good!!!!
The upside is we were sitting having a beer and guess who happen to be hiking through Te Anu .......Chris and K Marie . Like us they have been doing side trips and not sticking to the T A religiously and they had just finished the Greenstone walk and where passing through.
Tonight we are staying at a holiday park just outside of Te Anu and it is a really pretty park overlooking Browns River. Unfortunately the people running make you feel like your an inconvenience there are signs up everywhere’s don’t do this don’t do that we have nicked named the place the Gestapo Camp.
HIGHLIGHT: Meetin back up with Chris and K'Marie
LOWLIGHT: The bloody cold wind
Grateful for the friendships we have made on this journey. Grateful for laughter & joy , the sound of laughter is delightful. I am grateful for my body I do not have the indestructible body of Superman. But if I treat it well and get plenty of sleep, work out and eat healthy then it works really wonderfully well almost all the time. LOL