hike blog

TA Day 71, Ship Cove to Madsen Camp, 17 km

Standing on a cannon from the time of Captain Cook before starting the Queen Charlotte Track in the South Island.
Standing on a cannon from the time of Captain Cook before starting the Queen Charlotte Track in the South Island.

I needed to get up before 5:00 am to catch the ferry, but what a treat for Raf to take me. Seas are advertised as ‘calm’ – just one meter swells. I run into the Czechs standing next to an American comparing shoe wear. I’m feeling stiff and secure in my new La Sportivas.

The ferry is enormous and I head right up to level six, wet in this gloomy morning. A sign alerts me to the rich bird life of Cook Strait – Sooty Shearwater that travel 64,000 km each year, three kinds of albatross that lock their giant wings in place and glide on the trade winds, plus gull, gannet, petrel, prion, tern, shag and penguin.

Gear

TA Day 30, Rangiriri to below Hakamarita summit – 29 km

A massive Kauri in the Hakarimata Reserve that somehow missed the ax of overzealous lumberjacks.
A massive Kauri in the Hakarimata Reserve that somehow missed the ax of overzealous lumberjacks.

It rained all night.

Maybe it got it out of its system.

I slept well behind Cathy’s Pie Shop even though we shared nearly an entire bottle of chardonnay. She’s a well off Kiwi who lost most of her wealth, but has found her own ‘trail’ after leaving a cheating husband and buying up property to rent.

She loves us trail walkers looking for answers as we walk day after day. She instilled confidence in me that whatever it is I’m seeking would work out and that – like Dorothy – the answers are probably already inside me.

Of course that remains to be seen.