Where have all the Kiwi's Gone?
Trip Start Jan 20, 2005
37Trip End Sep 10, 2005
Then, on the west southern scenic route I headed towards Invercargil. On the way I stopped at the Clifden caves. On the sign it said that to go from one end to the next it takes forty minutes and I wasn't planning on doing it alone. Luckily , a cute older couple decided to go in and I joined. The guy couldn't bend so well so just the french woman and I continued through the caves. There were glow worms in there and huge pools of water that we walked through that got to our waist! Freezing but happy, we made our way through. I don't know why they are called glow worms though. They are just dots of light , maybe they are ants?
At Invercargil I had my first HIT experience
The ferry was awful and my lunch resurfaced. I know what many people on the ferry had for lunch as well. After a long hour we arrived in Oban (or halfmoon bay) and later to Pete's place , our shelter for the night. Stewart Island is %85 national park and has only one real town. There are many Kiwi's there ( the bird...) because predators haven't infested it's land yet. Also , not many people get there and the muddy track doesn't exactly appeal to everyone.
We took a water taxi to the freshwater hut and proceeded west to Mason Bay , on the west coast of the Island. No Kiwi. The next day we returned to freshwater. Still No Kiwi
The next day we finished the track and took the ferry back to the mainland where we stayed at Shirley's house , another HIT member. My new motto proved itself on the ferry back - No lunch , No vomit (you may quote me if you wish).
So I know the Kiwis are there , we just didn't find them. At least I can say that I've walked from coast to coast and have done a four day tramp , my longest. My legs are starting to look the part too - a series of black and blue marks but I am noticing that it's getting easier, my legs have gotten much stronger. Lets see you climb a mountain being the weight of a fat man! (No offense to fat men intended).
It's impossible to describe the joy of getting to the hut after a long day. When you see the hut in the distance , nothing can stop you and your legs pick up speed. The huts are owned by the Department of Conservation and can hold anywhere between six to fifty people depending on the walk. There are gas cookers and a fire place in the big ones and hopefully a place to dry your clothes. It's pretty self contained and you need to clean up on your way out for the next bunch. So this was the Stewart Island adventure - Next track , Hump ridge.