Days 34-36 Queen Charlotte part two
Woke up to a still morning and clear blue sky. But then clouded over shortly after setting out.
Similar views to previous day but not as vibrant on account of the grey sky.
We love the curious weka, and are careful not to leave anything around for them to take. I love how they look at you when trying to get in close to grab something.
The last two days we’ve passed so many slip sites. We’re not yet sure which is the one (or more) that had caused the track to be closed from July until very recently. The road access into Punga Cove is still blocked.
It was a short walk today and we arrived at lunchtime. So plenty of time for a bit of washing and catching up with the other walkers. It suddenly turned cold later in afternoon too.
I’m still trying not to worry about the upcoming Richmond ranges and just enjoy the Queen Charlotte at present. But I was scrolling through the elevations on QCT to see how tomorrow was looking and accidentally glimpsed what’s coming. This is the comparison.
The cold turn in the weather has persisted and we woke to a very cold and windy day with the odd sprinkling of rain. As it was a big walking day for everyone, all the groups set out at much the same time. This meant we got to walk with or chat along the way to everyone we’d met over the last couple of nights in the lodges. This was good to freshen up the conversations - not that we’re sick of each other yet. Also good for getting photos of us together without having to prop the phone up somewhere and do the self timer.
More beautiful bays and coves to look at but due to the extremely strong winds and very cold not a lot of stopping to admire. The winds roaring over the top of the trees was very scary sounding especially with all the creaking and groaning of the branches. We were very wary of falling trees. We followed the ridge line between the bright blue Queen Charlotte Sound to our left and the milky green Keneperu Sound to our right Most of the day. That was after climbing some very steep hills. I had to keep telling myself it was a walk in the park though compared to what’s upcoming so to enjoy it.
I am starting to feel a bit of fitness though as I clearly remember the pain of the walk when arriving at The Portage hotel when we walked it last. And this time although feeling weary and happy to arrive, no aches or pains.
We enjoyed pre dinner drinks and dinner with the others we’ve met along the way: Neville and Mike from Havelock North, and Alex, Tamsin and Tamara from Wairoa. Janet and her group returned straight to their boat after the walk.
A very enjoyable walk today after we got the first hill out of the way. The hill that kept on giving! The track was mostly flat or gradual downhill after that. And the usual lush bush and vista after vista of bays in every shade of blue and green.
We also met three more TA walkers today (bringing the tally to seven). Firstly Alex/Alec? Then a mother/teenage son duo, Corrine and Oliver. They had actually been on our boat trip out but we hadn’t seen them since ships cove. Hopefully we’ll see them all and maybe others in the Richmonds.
It was still quite windy today but were even more sheltered from it than yesterday. Lots of windfall on the track and at one point we heard a largish tree or branch crash down about 5 minutes ahead of us.
Our 500th km walked happened to be just as we arrived into Anakiwa. We only need to do this five more times and we’ll be done.
We’re staying at an air bnb and our host kindly drove us seven km to the local pub at linkwater for dinner. She arranged for the publican to drive us home again which he did after putting the closed sign up (8pm). There’d been a steady stream of customers but the last had left just before us.
Day 34 ~ Walked 11 km, ~Start: Furneaux lodge ~ End: , Punga Cove, Marlborough sounds (km 1728)
Day 35 ~ Walked 22 km, ~Start: Punga Cove ~ End: Portage, Marlborough sounds (km 1750)
Day 36 ~ Walked 19 km, ~Start: The Portage ~ End: Anakiwa, Marlborough sounds (km 1769)
Videos of the terrain.