My head is my only house, unless it rains.

3rd of april 2006-
Holey Moley folks. 10 days tramping and kayaking in Fiordland National Park. 10 days of gorgeous rain-free back-country bliss, I tell ya. Today is my first day back in civilization after 10 days out in the Fiordland bush. My friend Martin and I began our trip in Fiordland with a 3 day kayak trip in Doubtful Sound (good name for a rock band?). We kayaked with a group of six others in a sound which receives little tourist activity. Of the three days we kayaked there we saw, on average, 2 or 3 boats a day. Each day we kayaked around 15 miles or so to certain sections of the sound while admiring the odd and surreal landscape of rich dense forested mountains dropping directly down into the water in which we paddled. The light blue bright sky of each day provided some incredible reflections/mirrors on the water (hopefully the pics do some justice). We saw a rare sort of dolphin called a "bottlenose" which is apparently particular to fiordland due to its' size and extra layer of blubber it has to protect itself from the frigid winter waters. We also kayaked by a fat old seal rolling about in the water spending his day with play. All in all the kayak trip was a complete success. 410 smackaroos spent wisely for this a-here country boy.
Immediately following the kayak trip, Martin and I began the challenging part of our trip in Fiordland. The kayak company has stored our hiking gear, so we immediately hit the trail and began an 8-day, 84 km, tramp known as "the dusky track". the Dusky is known for deep mud, flooding, and extremely rugged trail conditions, so going into the trip I was a bit nervous. The night before the dusky began I knelt down before my 1/8 inch thick sleeping bad in my tent and said a silent prayer to the rain gods. Praise Be!, my prayers were answered and somehow, I'm not sure how, it didn't rain a single drop on our entire 8 day tramp. Unheard of ! Good karma or global warming? Fiordland sees rain 200 days a year, 10 meters annually, 30 feet people!, we slipped through the cracks. The tramp was still the most challenging one I've ever done. Hidden mud pools still existed and the rugged terrain still beat me mercilessly. I can only imagine what the track must be like for most trampers when they get hit with massive amounts of rain. Those poor souls! I pity them! Anyway, the hike was out of sight and know I look back at with an incredible sense of achievement. The scenery and sense of absolute isolation on the dusky still has me aching with awe. I look back on the trip now and I only see good memories. None of the heavy strenuous garbage that can weigh people down on a long hike has stayed with me. It;s pretty rare that I had the chance to fall into mud up to my waist, I've never done that before. On one of the nights out I watched the sun set over a lake that had countless stumps protruding out of the water. As I watched the lake it dawned on me that I was the only person in the world seeing it at that moment. I thought that was pretty neat-o.
In a few days martin and I fly down to stewart island to begin another muddy 8 day tramp. Will the rain gods side with me this time?


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