Nov 6 day 67 Wellington (via ferry) to Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge 13 km 4:30-7:00
The South Island Odyssey Begins
Caught the 9:30 InterIslander ferry to Picton. Absolutely crystal day, I could feel everyone’s enthusiasm for some warmth and sunshine. Crowded boat, but I found a seat on the back atrium sundeck. Good views without the jostling of the already drinking crowd, and I got to talk with one of the librarians from the National Library, where I hope my students will do some research in January. Arrived at Picton just in time to get a quick bite to eat and catch the mail boat, which after stops in nearly every cove on the sound, dropped me at Ships Cove, the beginning of the Queen Chatlotte Track and Te Araroa on the South Island. Hectors dolphins sported beside the boat as we made our way over. This is a trip I have taken three or four other times, and the peacefulness of the coves and bays always amazes (of course they are also subject to severe weather, a characteristic of the entire country). The Queen Charlotte is an “easy tramping” trail, perfectly graded, so I made the crossing to Furneaux Lodge in quick time, and was happy to feel very strong hiking throughout. Ever since the Tararua’s I have felt tired and lethargic walking, almost weak, so it really felt good to be feeling good. Hoping to get a running start at the South Island, so it was a good sign. I have always wanted to stay at Furneaux. Eaten here on the way through a number of times, but haven’t spent night. I got a great bunk room looking out over the bay, really comfortable, wish I could linger longer. Planning a weekend trip in January which will definitely involve lingering.