A beach is a place where a man can feel he's the only soul in the world that's real

I am going to try to recollect my recent visit to Stewart Island, but unfortunately my mind is a bit groggy, hazey, and lazy due to a lack of sufficient good hot black coffee. Anyway, here goes.

Martin and I began our trip to stewart Isl. by flying onto a nearly deserted beach about 100 KM from the nearest village (Oban (pop. 400)). We flew in the smallest plane I have ever been in, a 4-seater Cessna that barely fit martin. We touched down on the beach, threw our bags out of the tiny cargo space, and watched the pilot take off and disappear in a matter of minutes. We stood on the beach and laughed. We had just gone from civilization to standing on an isolated beach 60 miles from civilization. We picked up our packs and trudged up a sand-dune to find the first hut we would be staying in for the evening.

Much of the 8 day hike on Stewart was similar to the dusky track, the hike we had completed 3 days before. The trail was muddy, steep, and full of tree roots and tricky little sections requiring all of my coordination. The track overall, however, was incredibly different due to the beaches we came across every day. The beaches were incredibly scenic, pristine, and rugged. Massive waves slammed pillars of rock right before us while we clamored along on slippery rocks. Looking out at the ocean I truly felt as if was on the edge of the world.. There were also beaches that were full of great golden sand and sea-shells. It was quite a sensation to stand on a beach that stretched for 6 km's in one direction and not see a single human being or trace thereof. We didn't get too much rain on the island and that was surprising. I bought a whole bunch of good rain gear before the trip and I barely got a chance to use it, Dad Blast It!.

The bird life on Stewart is truly phenomenal. The island is reknown for it's abundance of rare and plentiful bird-life. The kiwi, that famous flightless bird particular to NZ, is found on stewart island more often than any place else. Martin, my hiking partner, saw 4 of the birds, while I saw none. He gloated quite a lot and showed me video of the birds on his digital camera, I stewed. I did, however, see a whole load of "kaka", one of the rarest parrots in the world. The birds down here in NZ are not the most beautiful in the world (so I've been told), but they have some of the most beautiful, unique, and memorable songs I can imagine. While hiking we could here bird songs everywhere. We'd stop, stare around at the trees, and listen to the birds fairly often. I've got to find a recording of those birdies, I can't let their songs slip from my memory.

There is so much more to say about the trip, but this is all I got in me right now.

Now I am heading back to Wanaka to work for a week or two. The last three weeks of travel have depleted my funds considerably, but I suppose you've got to pay the piper if you want to do the really good stuff. I leave NZ on the 18th of May, so my days are dwindling down. I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest of my free time here.

In the Airport on the South island we saw a sign for the southernmost McDonald's in the world, so this was, without a doubt, the farthest south I had ever been.

Adios Muchacho/a,


Post a Comment

<< Home