The gang is breaking up.
Tomorrow, we will all be going our separate ways. I will be on a bus to Christchurch in pursuit of putting numbers in my bank account, Jay and Trav will be headed for Dunedin and Curt will be catching a bus out of here the next day to find a more permanent locale.
Lets do a brief recap of what has happened since we FINALLY escaped Te Anau. We made it to the Milford Sounds on literally, the worst day possible. It was pouring rain. Like abso-fuckin-lutly record breaking pouring rain. But we kayaked anyways. If you ask anyone about visiting the sounds, they will always say you have to visit it twice. Once when its nice out, and once when its bad out. Well if had to go when it was bad out, im glad we saw it at its worst. There were not hundreds of waterfalls, but thousands. Everywhere you look there is water careening hundreds of feet off the steep cliffs and crags of the fiord. Its amazing, it really is. I've never felt so intimidated as from the pure erosive power that a little rainfall can posses in the fiord. So yeah, it was raining, but it was the worst of the worst, meaning it was the best the worst had to offer.
After the sounds, we junked the Subie, but not before getting a few satisfying kicks in. She was a good car...well not really, but thats what you should say anyways. We then bused to Invercargil and made plans to go to Stewart Island in the morning. Got ready to go and had the easiest hitching experience to get to our ferry ever.
We walked in the food store to stock up for the trip with our packs on.
"Where you guys from"
"Cool, where are you going"
"Trying to get to the ferry to Stewart Island"
"I've got an hour before my flight, wanna lift?"
Magic, serious magic, no thumbing no waiting no asking no anything, AND he watched over our packs while we food shopped. Pure gentleman really.
So Stewart Island is kind of special. Its remote, its wild, its basically everything we have pictured this trip to be. But its more than that, its been THE destination from day one. We really thought we would have been here forty days ago, but kept getting side tracked on the way down. We finally made it.
The ferry over was wild. There were freakin waves bigger than the boat, which kinda added to the mystic. We pulled up and the skys cleared, we made it. We landed on the only town on the island Oban, which really is just a quite, quaint little harbor town, slightly reminiscent of Maine. Went to the DOC, got our camping passes and started the trek.
Stewart Island is notorious for rain, and the track is notorious for mud. The parts that aren't mud are boardwalked. So it turns into this weird Jersey Shore meets muddy pit type thing. The whole thing is kinda bazaar. We come here looking for rugged terrain and solitude, and here we are, walking up a thousand flights of boardwalked stairs. Yeah, I'll be honest, although I loved the scenery and the feeling of being on Stewart Island, the track sucked for me. I was pretty sick the whole time and felt weak-as when I was hiking. I also now know that I have a chronic knee problem from when I twisted my knee on the AT. It hurts the most going up and down stairs, of which there were plenty, and got worse throughout the track.
Soo I basically got my ass kicked on a boardwalked track. Its strange, after the AT which was almost 100k and 7 days, all I wanted to do was keep hiking. I felt like I was one with my pack and could hike forever. But here I was, on a 3 day 32k track begging for mercy. Kinda embarrassing really.
Whatever, I'll be back one day. Stewart Island IS beautiful, remote and rugged. The campsites were amazingly beautiful and were really enjoyable(I also wasn't moving). So basically the trek was a little rough yeah, but that didn't spoil what Stewart Island had to offer. And to boot, we couldn't have asked for better weather. We got three sunny days from a temperate rain forest which is pretty impressive in itself.
Oh yeah, we got to talk to some guys on the island that are filming a great white shark movie around the island, sweeeeet-as!
So were back in Invercargill, about to split up. It has been awesome, I will miss travelling with all these dilbros, but we couldn't have ended it without going to Stewart Island. Perfect. We are going to see each other here and there in the next month or two, but it will be nice to start to act autonomously and my own thing for awhile.
So yeah, off to Picton I go!