Friday, March 10: Overcast during the day with some sunshine in the afternoon, rain expected in the evening
Walking: 8.1 km
Another variation on Elizabeth’s breakfast this morning was to have weetbix with the ground up seeds, a plum and milk, and to forget the banana at some stage. Toast was a rather teutonic type of bread and it was plied with marmite. Not much sign of the torrential rainfall expected from the north.
First call of port was to tidy up the Wangapeka Track. Got an offer from Tapawera that they would pick me up and rent me a cabin for $75, which would have to be unbeatable. An Intercity bus @ full price can be cancelled up to two hours in advance for a full refund, but that has yet to be booked. In Karamea the very rainbowy Rongo Backpackers was taking $65 a night for a twin room plus $20 for a pickup which comes to much the same as Tapawera above, and was promptly reserved. Two things I will have to keep in mind: Taking enough cash to pay for everything, and a shopping list for Karamea. Shampoo & shower gel will have to be topped up before I go so that I can get some personal hygiene done in Karamea and Tapawera. And some decent meals.
I had tried running the Purple Picture Processor with the day2night photos from yesterday, but it seemed to be in a state of development that was not fully thought out, and had reached a fatal error early this morning. The databases also seemed to be in an incomplete state, which is not good in terms of preparation. In the course of the day I did manage to get the brackets and later the panoramas assembled (two of the latter), but it took quite a bit of analysis.
For the record then I should try to clarify some aims. Dechromatisation should lead to PNGs being stored on the external hard drive. Since these contain no exif data, when aligning and enfusing these, this data needs to be read off the original JPGs. When copying these files onto the local disc, as well as the enhanced images, the files should be stored as JPGs with exif data modified from the originals. I hope this becomes doable at some point.
With those technical matters somewhat out of the way (I eventually got a confirmation from Rongo, but was still awaiting one from Tapawera) I took off for town to have a look at where I might eat tonight, and suss out what Fresh Choice had to offer for tramping – nothing. Mosied down to the Doc but couldn’t view my hut tickets for the Heaphy on their limited computer system so took a place in the queue to get them printed out by a Welshman whose description of part of the Abel Tasman caused him to use the phrase, “As near as dammit,” with a previous customer which made me smile. (“And that brings you to as near as dammit halfway down the beach,” Marahau to Bark Bay being meant.)
With that it was time for lunch and I chose a steak and mushroom pie for $3.8 from Loafers Bakery (273 Hardy St) in which both the steak and the mushroom were palpable. Sat on a bench to eat it and was overseen by an eager seagull who was chasing off all the other birds. Also located Kathmandu (they have moved and seem to have a smaller shop now) and Rollo’s who had a 1½ person tent on show with aluminium poles @ 2.1 kg. Tempted to have another look at it.
Wanted to get some washing done, but Elizabeth was nowhere to be asked. Had an email from Bob that the harbour kayak tour was on tonight, but that Pepin Island was cancelled for tomorrow. Decided I needed about an hour to walk down there and memorised the Google Map as best I could, and set off around 4:00 (for a start @ 5:30). Walk went mainly as planned, one section of Days Track cut across a zigzag path but the following section was closed necessitating another zigzag path; the beach, however, was clearly visible. Was soon down at it with its spectacular backdrop of the mountains of the Abel Tasman, which I well remember from 2009. This was just before 5:00 and with a fish’n’chip shop begging to be patronised I took a short stroll up and down the main street and landed at said fish’n’chip shop for a crumbed tarakihi with a reasonable amount of chips sans newspaper wrapping for $6.5. Fish was very firm, chips were crispy, recommended (The Sands Fish & Chips, 1/623 Rocks Rd, Nelson, (03) 539 6161).
Was munching into the last part of the meal when Bob turned up, dragging his boat on a trolley. Greeted me and asked me whether I wanted to go on the tour, but with no transport the boat that his mate Vince was lending me was stuck as his place, so bad luck. Am beginning to think that you really do have to organise everything yourself.
On the way back stopped at a Tiptop dairy for a hokey pokey (convenience store on Victory Park, $2.5) and was soon back at Elizabeth’s where she and Friederike were just about to set off to tango. Computer seemed to be shutting itself down at every opportunity. In any case found out that the boot picture was of Torres del Paine in Chile, and Elizabeth has a shot of it from another angle in her living room. In any case, got Elizabeth’s permission to use the washing machine, washed most of my stuff (except the sleeping bag), got the computer to finish transferring the brackets to the main machine, hung up the washing, went shopping for some beer, wrote the diary and am about to pack in.
Interesting how when no transport (car, camper) is in use the tour concentrates on walks/tramps and other activities.