22. Te Anau

Saturday, March 4: Sunny with a few clouds about over the mountains and a string wind in the afternoon

Steamer’s Backpackers

The harder tasks were waiting this morning, as everything easier was disappearing. The library is open Saturdays from 10:00 to 3:00 so that enabled two sessions of relatively fast internet after the breakfast of OJ, two toasted cheese sandwiches and coffee had been dealt with. Met Shoko as she was waiting for her bus which would eventually take her back to Auckland. I let the spot tracker run a full course of 20 minutes, but apart from the ‘OK’ button turning off after that time, nothing much happened.

First task on the net was to get transport to the bus station, which eventually worked. Copied the bus times & destinations in Dunedin into a text file and I hope that at least that action would make me remember them. St Clair Hot Saltwater Pool looks inviting for some time next week. Read more…

21. Te Anau

Friday, March 3: Warm & sunny with a few light showers

Steamer’s Backpackers

Breakfast was meant to be two rounds of cheese sandwiches (toasted) but the cookout people donated all of the remains of their fried eggs, bacon, baked beans and hash browns. I helped myself to some bacon & a fried egg for the odd end piece of toast that couldn’t be used for the sandwiches.

Washing had to be addressed urgently this morning and about the only thing I forgot was the spiderman suit. In any case I was finished so early, and the weather promised some rain, that I could identify a clothes line with some pegs on it and hang the stuff up to dry before the weather delivered. The (Maytag) washing machine set at “colours” and “warm” made a dent on the mud on the trousers (not so much on the shirt, though) and nothing smells as bad as it once did. The boots in the meantime required hand soap from the facilities and a couple of rinses to clear, and that will hopefully be enough to convince a cobbler to repair them. Read more…

20. Upper Spey – West Arm (Dusky Track 8/8) – Manapouri – Te Anau

Thursday, March 2: Overcast to begin with, a little variable, changing to sunny in Te Anau

Tramping: 13.5 km

Steamer’s Backpackers

My decision had been a long time in the making as well, but probably not as excruciating as the waking in anticipation of leaving that had people fiddling about from 4:00 onwards. Eventually Dave made a call of, “Time to get up,” at 6:00 and up everyone was except for me. That meant that the first to leave were out just after 7:00, the last around 7:30, and me as the rear guard @ 8:00.

I had decided to join my new group on the ferry back today, and not spend the night on the track as previously planned. The weather was not great for one, and while I could get little done in what was left of the afternoon, I could at least have a shower and eat something halfway decent, in order to get some serious work done on Friday and Saturday.

The plan was to reach the first pair of walkwires at around 9:00; have an hydration break @ 10:00; reach the last set around 11:00, and by that time I would know whether I would get the 13:45 boat or not. Read more…

19. Kintail – Upper Spey (Dusky Track 7/8)

Wednesday, March 1: Cloud cover in the morning, fog in the mountains, becoming sunnier in the afternoon, a bit cooler

Tramping: 7.1 km

Upper Spey Hut (Doc)

“Seven o’clock, people,” was the waking call for the second last day of tramping, and the bottom bunk and the couple on the top one were soon up and about, and I spent a little more time in bed until I was sure that Matt & Christoph were also awake, and then I joined the others. Breakfast this morning was cheese instead of salami, and two eggs were there for the taking. When packing everything, Gort couldn’t find his rubbish, but after everyone had left, except for the last three of us, there was a rubbish bag with an empty deet container and some dental floss in it, so I picked it up on my way out to return to him. Read more…