Sean Mc on Skynet

The South Island... at last!


A lot has been happening since the last update. Most significant, we finally made it as far as the South Island, it only took 3 months to get away from the North Island. We got the ferry south from Wellington on the 25th January to Picton on the South Island. Our first stop was going to be Nelson. There we were meeting up with some kiwi friends of ours. We spent a few days around Nelson, didn't do too much just catching up really but we did go mountain biking for an evening. We got a map in the local bike shop so we were good to go. We selected an intermediate trail from the map as it look reasonably easy and taking a look at the contours on the topo map all looked ok. What we found on the ground was different though, it was super steep and we ended up walking sections of both uphill and down hill. I think that the map was drawn and then they spilled ink onto a page where they figured there might be some trails. Still though it was good fun.
After spending a few days in Nelson we went north to the Able Tasman national park. We didn't really have enough equipment to overnight along the trail so we got a water-taxi in as far as Bark bay as we figured that would give us a good days walking. According to the guidebook it should take us about 7 hours to walk back out. Again the DOC times are a little misleading, we were back home in 4 1/2 hours. We even stopped at a little bay to go for a swim just to pass the time.
Next on our target was Murchison to meet up with some Irish paddlers who had recently arrived in the Country. We drove back down through Nelson and continued to Murchison, along the way we got a text from them saying they were moved on to Hokitika already. We planned on sticking with our original intentions of driving to Murchison and staying there for a few days and doing some paddling. Again our plans were altered, we arrived in Murchison and it was like a ghost town, not a paddler in sight, not really a surprise given that water levels turned out to be super low.
We opted to keep driving towards Hokitika and see our far we'd get before getting tired and Hungry. We got as far as Greymouth on the West Coast.
Onwards to Hokitika the following day in the hope of some paddling.

posted by SeanMc @ 7:09 AM,

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