Debriefing: Stewart Island

Granted: The short stay on Stewart Island was designed for a kayak-in/kayak-out version of the Southern Circuit in five days:

  • Oban, Golden Bay – Rakeahua Hut (kayak, pick up by water taxi in the evening)
  • Rakeahua Hut – Doughboy Bay
  • Doughboy Bay – Mason Bay
  • Mason Bay – Freshwater
  • Freshwater – Oban, Golden Bay (kayak, delivery in the morning).

Whether or not that would have been realistic – especially from the kayaking side – is another question. The tides were right, but not spending a day on the water getting to Rakeahua would have meant hanging around a whole day for the water taxi to take me there.

Topo Map with GPS

Still plenty to explore: The land, and the sea
Still plenty to explore: The land, and the sea. Stewart Island: Oban – Mason Bay, Topo+GPS (86 downloads)
In any case, having no partner for either kayaking arm meant doing a trip out to Mason Bay on foot, even if the last leg of the return journey could be undertaken by water taxi. Read more…

Bye-bye, Amazon!

For a long time I’ve relied on Amazon to find stuff, compare prices, look for bargains, and for a long time they’ve been a reliable source of all things related to travelling. I’ve put together various contraptions to help with photography, I’ve bought boots, raincoats, tents, sleeping mats, inflatable pillows and diverse kit from them. If I didn’t like the stuff, I sent it back for free. They have everything and can deliver free from China. Everything … except common sense and regard for their customers.

In the end three things got me:

  • The absolute trash that is becoming daily fare – not only in terms of trash goods, but also in terms of trash descriptions – I simply will not buy anything that looks like the description came directly out of a machine translating from Chinese and/or German;
  • Writing reviews for Amazon is a pointless task; and
  • Trying to get even a well-intentioned review published once it gets caught in Amazon’s censorship “algorithm” is also pointless.

Let me go into some detail.

Read more…