11. Invercargill – Te Anau

Tuesday, February 21: Cloudy, variable, with some rain drops

Steamers Beach Backpackers, Lakeview Holiday Park, 77 Manapouri – Te Anau Hwy, Lake Te Anau, single ($36 + $4, BBH)

I wanted to see Tina off, so I was up at around 7:30. Tony showed me to some cereal, made some coffee, and I later toasted a couple of slices of bread for which I had to collect my vegemite. Tina’s breakfast was waiting for her and she was quickly finished and away to work after a hug.

I was in no big hurry this morning – all I needed was a lift to the i-site & then to see whether I could get a replacement tripod. Tracey & Edward were soon down & starting on their own breakfast. I wrote dedications in the books for Tina & Tony.

I left my tramping pack unpacked and so everything could be squashed back into the suitcase, and a little after 9:00 Tony drove me into town where I was able to deposit the bags behind the counter @ the i-site and then he took me to the Warehouse which was my first target for the morning and we farewelled each other.

Warehouse had nothing, so I tried Noel Leeming which was just next door. Here they had a range of tripods (not to mention monopods & selfie sticks). Looked at the Manfrotto and apart from superfluous embellishment and serious lack of functionality (the “QR” plate looked like it needed no further invitation to absent itself, and no mechanism was obvious for tightening it). We went to the next lower price class and there was one with a wholemeal quality – I eat it and I understand it. Furthermore on this model the QR plate could be rotated 90° to put the pin in the right place, no less, and not under the camera, tilting it. Done deal for $70. Weight and height are as good as perfect.

Back down at the bus stop I decided I needed a fizzy drink and went around the block in search of a dairy; found an expensive bottle of something lemony at the bakery of last week’s fame and took it back to await the bus.

In all we were eight passengers as far as Mossburn where the Te Anau and Queenstown lines split. In Mossburn there are two cafés which had toilets and sausage rolls (Bracken Hall, Dome Café & Bar). I relieved myself in one and bought the $5 sausage roll in the other. After that we had to wait a bit for the final bus around the corner in York St, and the Chinese woman who was travelling along to Te Anau chatted with me in her very broken English. She might very well have been an employee of one of the Chinese places in Te Anau. Our bus was there, quite full with both people and luggage.

Te Anau was now not far and the bus driver elected to start unloading at Lakeview, which was fine by me. Apart from me a small family alighted with tent, luggage and pusher (!) – some way to do a holiday.

Bit of a discussion at the reception about whether I had booked a dorm room or a single, and with that resolved I was quartered in the same wing of the West Arm as the last time. Still needing a bit of sleep I lay down for what I thought was going to be a couple of hours, but it was door bangers’ paradise – gave a negative review about this, because the door closers shouldn’t be that tight, and even if a person “accidentally” slammed a door shut by letting it fall back from wide open, you’d think they’d learnt their lesson and close it more quietly subsequently. You’d think so.

After two hours of this I had to get up to sort out where I might meet Jack and where I could get everything I needed tomorrow, as well as going for a meal. At 5:00 Te Anau is in terror grid lock, and it looks like the town has finally reached its limits. There were no beds free at any of the place I passed along the lake, and when I reached Paradiso (1 Milford Crescent, Te Anau 9600) it was not only open but the tables were filling rapidly, so I wasted no time in occupying one and ordering a meatlovers pizza for $25. A true Italian pizza, still, although the pressure was on to produce at a high rate and around the middle of the pizza the crispiness gave way to sog. But after yesterday’s lack of nourishment this was OK.

Email with Jack became more and more desolatory. First they were only getting in @ 7:00, then they had no time tomorrow morning, perhaps in the afternoon. Well, I do hope they know what they are letting themselves in for.

Wifi at the motorcamp was notoriously slow & unsecured, and I am not entirely sure that using https and smtp overcome an unsecured network. Anyway, downloaded a lot of spam in one of the common rooms and was promptly met by Marie & Lena from Stewart Island. Realised almost too late that we had first met before the tramp, which they had to be filled in on.

Back in my room I started the data transfer. First had to work out where in the registry was determining the download directory for the GPS, then downloaded the files, copied them, deleted the sat fixes and renamed and processed the files. HGT files seem to be missing, but they could be on the memory stick. Data volume was not enough to show the kayaking in detail, but good speeds of 5-7 km/h were achieved.

Photos were transferred to the external drive and that was about that. Will first have to see what the format of the raw files is before processing.