10. Oban – Paterson Inlet – Invercargill

Monday, February, 20: A bit of cloud to the east in the morning, clearing to fine with an easterly breeze, fog in the late afternoon & evening

Kayaking: 16.7 km
Walking: 5.9 km

Tina & Tony’s ($70, airbnb)

After the privations of the hike, and as a celebration of the last day on the island I set off for breakfast at the SSH, with Frank closely in tow. The full breakfast (which had been available from 8:00 onwards, and not 9:00, which is when I arrived) was three sausages, two eggs, a couple of bits of bacon, a tomato, hash browns and ciabatta toast for $20 and was well worth it.

Frank was still keen on kayaking and I put a call through to Phil, who was now asking $50 an hour for a part-day trip, so I had to reconsult with Frank whether he was prepared to fork out $200 for a four hour tour. Seemed a bit steep to me & Phil was still harping on about wet rescue, etc. but eventually we agreed, packed some stuff together for the tour (and I placed my suitcase in storage and returned my key) and off we set. Read more…

4. Invercargill – Oban

Tuesday, February 14: Heavy rain overnight, heavy showers, lightning on Stewart Island

Walking: 3.2 km

Bunkers Backpackers, 13 Argyle St., Halfmoon Bay, double room upstairs, all amenities downstairs ($74)

Sleep was still fairly fragmented but I let everyone else get up and underway before I went down at 8:15. All were almost ready to go when I started on breakfast. Pretty soon the house was quiet. Had a quick look on the internet, could see that the rain was going to clear over the next couple of days.

Had my remaining two peaches & started to organise the stuff for today. Found five eggs that could be boiled, although they were very different sizes. Tried to avoid eggs that were already cracked, brought some water to boil and plonked them in, waited 30 seconds after the water had returned to boil, threw about half of the ice cubes in and took the heat off for the remaining 10 minutes as the water appeared to be at the right temperature. One of the larger eggs had lost a bit of white (but not too much), removed the water, added the remaining ice cubes to cool the eggs, and when the ice had melted I dried the eggs and packed them away in a plastic container (no egg cartons to be found). Read more…

Doing the rounds

Kayaking into the sunset along the Lesser Circuit, August 15, 2016
Kayaking into the sunset along the Lesser Circuit, August 15, 2016

Another year, another two sports seasons. And while some things change very slowly, if not at all, in others new challenges arose that had to be met. In all 290 km were paddled, 51.7 km swum, and 2730 km walked.

The most radical changes were in paddling. As April, 2016 came around, the university sports centre’s registration page was unusually silent about the details for the summer’s flat-water paddling group I had by now spent two summer seasons paddling with. In the run-up to the season there were no tours being offered on wanderpaddeln.de, Zottel’s homepage, apart from skiing in the Harz Mountains and in Norway. When finally some details emerged, it had been rescheduled to Monday, and a new instructor had been named, one Philipp Cartier. Googling his name almost immediately landed a SAR operation in Pegasus Bay, just north of Christchurch a couple of years ago. Read more…

Tamaki Makaurau

The Old Christchurch, February 16, 2009. This time only briefly through the airport, though
The Old Christchurch, February 16, 2009. This time only briefly through the airport, though

Over the years, on buses, at motorcamps, in backpackers, I’ve stumbled across people spending their two weeks’ worth of holidays trying to see all of New Zealand, such is the call of the place desired by many. And yet here I am again, standing in front of the expanse of two months, squeezing the days into plans and realising how much there is still to do after five trips down under. But not to worry. There will be plenty of new stuff on this trip. Read more…