Monday 28th March
I am needing my fix of human chat, the wekas and fantails are hiding from the intense rain at the moment. This section of the trip is all mental, it has taught me a lot so far about patience and having enormous faith in the weather forecast, but on a day like today when I look at the calm tranquil bay I do wonder. I have to remind myself of days previously in the North Island when my motto "Gap It!" may have been an option, but not at this stage of my journey. I will read the NZ Fish magazine in the DOC hut, go to the beach, go bush walking and collect damp firewood. I actually do not want to go paddling today and get wet and cold, maybe later. At present I need to focus on my doubts and my mind, as it is still not settled and content this morning. Best I go play with my sandfly friends!
I think the most irritating comment has to be, "Take a cement pill!" This one rolls of the tongue easily and a little too often. I wandered from the DOC hut down the path to Deas to grab some cockles and pipis, then along to grab some mussels off the rocks. As I walked across the rocks, all of a sudden I stepped up too quickly onto a slime covered rock and up in the air I went, along with my cockles and pipis. With a very loud "thump" I landed butt first on the rocks. Blimmin' heck! What a moment. Lucky I still bounce, I got up and retrieved my bag of shellfish and made a mental note to be careful! Imagine if I had to call for help due to a broken bone, now that would be a grim moment.
Mussels collected, I walked and clambered as far as I could at low tide. I put my bag of seafood next to T2 then headed through the bush, toi tois and marshland towards Necks Cove. I saw lots of deer tracks and hoof prints but nothing during the day to see, as I said before, I am far too noisy and they have plenty of time to hide. At Neck cove I wander along, past streams and gorgeous bush, it is pleasant in btween rain clouds. I look out towards the open ocean, the entrance to Thompson Sounds I can see even from my location, it is a dark line of swells, white wave tops breaking, it makes me feel better mood wise. I remind myself I want to enjoy my paddling not wish once on the water that I could get off and that it was nasty horrible heart stopping, am I going to die moment. I turn once more to gaze at the ocean as it is about to pour with rain and there in this secluded solo location is this massive ocean liner, passing by Neck Sound down to Thompson Sound. It is huge and seems weird to me that all those people on board are experiencing Fiordland from this type of platform, I cannot get this kind of traveling into my head space but I reminded myself that I am probably the crazier one.
Back I race to Deas Cove entrance, me so little and them so huge! My stomach is missing food as I skipped breakfast today so I go to grab my shellfish next to T2 and I have a moment of questioning my sanity when I can not find the bag. It really was gone! The weka family had dragged the bag and contents up into the bush and I had to follow the trail of cockles, pipis and mussels. Crazy birds. I collected my shellfish, said goodbye to T2 and the sandflies and headed back to the DOC hut to put out my solar panel to change and to cook some lunch.
I have mentioned previously all the food I have been gifted, I did not want to waste any! So when a bag of apples and nectarines were gifted to me I went holy crap how am I going to carry them as well? I cooked them up and have been using them to sweeten my fritters. Today they have been finished and they had a bit of a cider taste to them. Sweet cinnamon fried pancakes with stewed fermented apple, I will call that lunch. Probably not that glamorous in looks but very yummy to me. I scrape the bottom of my pan clean, it is pretty amazing what you can create, thanks to my hospitality days and liking cooking, something from nothing.
As I sit at the hut table in the sunshine I am contemplating a small paddle in the calm just to keep mobile. It is high tide soon so I will not have to drag T2 too far to the water. Off I go. After I went firewood hunting and then, before the rain settled I sat on the steps of the hut in the sunshine, no sandflies for a little while.
Then, crazy me, I still had too much energy. The path from the beach to the hut has 17 steep steps, a track and then 7 more steps up to the deck. So I did sprints ! Twenty up and down. As I got going I removed layers of clothes, my crocs being my running shoes. Up and down the track and steps I went, it felt good to get a sweat up and my lungs do a work out. Yes my old gym buddies will just smile at this 30mins of insanity but it helped, as I finished the rain intensified and cooled me down.
Back in the hut, away from the rain I have lit the fire, settled at the table to study my maps, look at my pre planning and enjoy another night not huddled in my tent. It has been seven nights not in a tent and that in itself surely helps the moral. Dinner, messages to everyone and then I curl up in my sleeping bag as heavy rain falls outside.
My smiles today:
My hike across swamp and bush to Neck Cove.
The DOC hut, an amazing facility, it rocks.
The huge cruise liner on Thompson Beach.
The most needed and loved item each day, sandfly repellant.
The caged tiger insanity.
My stair and bush path sprints, LOL.
The wekas stealing my bag of shellfish!
My thoughts today:
The motto for life really is having faith in it all.