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GJ Coop at Little Hellfire Beach, Rakiura

Rakiura for the tenth time

I knew I’d be on Stewart Island for a while, but it ended up being a week longer than anticipated, ie, a full month.

The itinerary of my 21 day North West Circuit/Southern Circuit loop was modified, but not truncated by a few days of heavy rain that caused flooding. August rain on the island turned out to be more than twice as much as usual.

So, it was a very slow meander indeed.

On the third day, I found that the country was plunged into the tight Level 4 lockdown, effective immediately. I’ve always carried a tiny transistor radio to get the weather forecasts, but that was news I really didn’t need to hear.

By that time there seems little point on returning to civilisation, so I marched on. Unsurprisingly I didn’t see any other people for the next 16 days.

I had a bit of living off the land with three big feeds of the delicious blue mussels that eked out my food supply.

Have to say, this tramp is becoming harder as the years go on. Also, I found there had been 157 pairs of boots tramping over the track in the previous five autumn and winter months. Churning up the track more than I ever remember.

It seems the NWC has become considerably more popular since the pandemic, because when I came around in 2018, there were only 20% of those numbers.

My blog about this tramp is here: Rakiura blog | August/September 2021.

author | GJ Coop | posted | 09 October 2021
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