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45 nights in DOC huts, maybe just a few too many in one go

Yeah, that’s me with Jutta on the top of McKinnon Pass on the rather wet Milford Track. Sadly the camera became water logged although I could still take photos.

I’m back in Nelson after my two month squelch around Fiordland, all part of filling in some gaps for my website.

I call it primary research.

And the experience?

Some of the most memorable days in my tramping history:

wandering up the intimate Clinton Valley with the full 1000-waterfalls-in-a-day-style scenery close at hand;

the Pike – Big Bay Route in its entirety, including scoffing out more than once or twice on mussels collected from a raging Tasman Sea;

a Fiordland crested penguin doing its dance exclusively for me;

plenty of all-too-close encounters with seals when wandering through the Long Reef seal colony;

wading the waist deep Hollyford River flood channel to get to the best Hollyford hut, in my opinion, McKerrow Island hut;

finally hitching a ride to Te Anau after 15 days in the Hollyford Pyke, after three hungry hours of watching drivers and their entourage zipping past eating lunch, then one of the car’s passengers donning a surgical mask for my benefit;

bashing my way in the deep snow above the treeline over the Kepler;

walking the Kepler a second time, in the opposite direction, and failing to see Lake Te Anau until I was almost standing next to it due to fully inclement conditions;

seeing a few blue ducks, parakeets, keas, etc;

watching big avalanches drop off the Darran range, with the thunderous sound catching up later; etc.

But maybe it was all three or four days too long, ie, struggling in my whizz around the Greenstone and Caples valleys, thinking that perhaps it would be nice to be back in my own bed once again and not having to spend any more time with overseas, tourist-style, trampers.

So eight new tracks to write up after 45 nights in DOC huts. I might have my head down for a while.

If you want a few more photos that distill my experience in Fiordland you can have a look at a look at this 15 image popup slideshow by clicking on the click thingy.

Fiordland National Park
author | GJ Coop | posted | 09 November 2014
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