and that's just what they did.
22.02.2010 19 °C
IknowIknowIknow it's been ages since our last entry and we say that everytime - but we really are sooo busy!!! You wouldn't believe it... Anyway in a few weeks we'll be back to the relative stability and peace of a job, so i'm sure we'll get time to upload all our pictures and write lots in the blog - we really do want to share our travels with you. Missing our friends is the biggest downside of travel.
Today I want to talk about walking. Here in New Zealand it's called Tramping, Hiking in England, and in Israel they probably have a name for it they're not allowed to say. One of the oldest activities of humankind, we've been doing it ever since we came down those trees, and it essentially remained unchanged. Except wherever walking is particularly beautiful and scenic - in such areas we're made to pay a fee and expected to use ski poles and wear high-tech underwear. But I digress again...
We did some really pleasurable walks here, e.g. the Pinnacles on the Coromandel peninsula, but i want to tell you about the 2 biggies: The Kepler and the Milford.
On the Kepler, we thought we'll save some money by avoiding the huts and camping instead (and by not buying skipoles or high-tech underwear). Rucksack weight was nessecarily heavy because of this. Also, you can only camp in designated places that are spaced out widely on this track - we had to do a 4-day hike in 2 days, essentially. I have not experienced the resulting amount of physical pain for a long time, it was quiet excrutiating. It didn't help that all our gear got wet on the first night due to condensation (long story...) in the tent....
It's a tough walk but the rewards are fit for a King - some of the most amazing alpine scenery anywhere in the world. Even in my knackered state i was awestruck.
Handy hints: forget camping, stay at Luxmore and Iris Burn hut, split your mileage, and enjoy!
Compared with the Kepler, the Milford is a walk in the park, physically at least. Pack was much lighter (Camping is not allowed) and you MUST stay in all the huts, you can't skip one because it will be full with the previous day's crowd. Walking on it you won't notice how popular it is because it's very well managed and you can walk alone (if you want to) most of the way. We were relatively lucky weatherwise, which in Fjordland means we only got moderately moist as opposed to thorougly drenched.
The scenery is very varied, we'll post pics as soon as we can. A great way to celebrate my 40th (gulp!) birthday. The day after we arrived in Milford we went out Kayaking on the Milford sound, small group, 16 km, including kayaking underneath a waterfall and riding a huge wave thrown up in the wake of a big ferry. Gina was in the Kayak with me and didn't love it quiet as much as i did, but it was my birthday after all!! Also, my wife is a great hand on the paddle and the guide said we did very well, surfing the big wave like we did. Not that i'm having a midlife crisis or anything.....
We'll fill in the gaps later... signing off now. Hope you're all well, we miss you, and we'll write more soon.
Love from us both