Down South

Pete’s computer is away for repairs so it’s a bit difficult for me at the moment to update my blog. Right now I’m in a backpackers in Te Anau, halfway through my summer holiday with Sandra and Megan.

The holiday almost started off with a desaster, as I had forgotten to pack my sleeping bag and only realised this when we were about to check in. Luckily enough I live close to the airport, and so I just jumped into a taxi and went back home to get it. We forgot other bits and pieces, but nothing else that would really have put our holiday at risk.

The flight down to Dunedin was good, with beautiful views of the alps. On arrival, we were met by the rental car lady and then it was a matter of a couple of minutes to sign the contract and drive off. That’s my idea of freedom – choose the type of transport that is most suitable for the occasion and don’t worry about owning a car.

We made it to Mossburn by 5:30, where we picked up Sandra where she had been sitting in a cafe since 10 in the morning waiting for us and chatting to whoever came along. It was pouring down that evening, so it was good that Megan had booked us into a cabin.

The next morning we went off into the Takitimu mountains, an obscure mountain range East of Fjordland only the locals have ever heard of. Megan, Sandra and I at the start of the track:

Aparima 01  start

We followed the track up the Aparima River to Aparima Forks Bivvie, where we camped. On the following day, we bush bashed our way further upstream to the bushline. It was hard work and took us a lot longer than the book had said, and we unfortunately had no time left to go up to the tops. But is was worth it anyway, since the valley and surrounding mountains was absolutely amazing (and we had it all to ourselves).

Then back again, and we found the camping gear which we had left behind at the track without any problems. I’m a bit proud of how well we did on our off-track adventure, and that we hit the start of the track again spot on.

We camped at a beautiful spot at a swamp that night, with a great view of the mountains which we only had to share with about a million sandflies.

The walk out the following day was easy and seemed a lot faster than on the way in. What a difference a few nights of good sleep can make!

View of the mountains from the track:

Aparima 21 view of the Takis 2

Back at the car, we stuck our feet into the creek to cool down.

Aparima 22 cooling feet

We then drove to Te Anau, where we had a rest day today, if you can call it that at all since we drove to Milford Sound and had a look around there.

Day off Milford Sound

Now Megan and Sandra are cooking dinner and I have to wrap up here and give them a hand.

Tomorrow we’ll go on the Kepler track. The weather forecast is pretty crappy, with snow on the tops, which means bloody cold. Hopefully we’ll get at least a bit of a view.

Off again to cook dinner now.