Doing the famous 55 km Milford Track in Fjordland was definitely a wonderful and impressive experience. Fjordland is the wettest region in New Zealand and has 200 days of rain per year. So you kind of expect to get wet anyway. The first day it started to rain 10 minutes after Istarted the hike so most of the 7 hours was foggy but it gave the whole scenery a mystic touch and there were quite a few waterfalls already. The terrain is very rocky so the water can’t go into the earth, that’s why the water which comes down the mountains runs across the walking paths and rivers start to rise very quicky. As soon as the rain stops the water in the rivers goes back just as quickly. We ended up being about 35 people on the huts which was nice so we walked parts of the trek in little groups. The second day was a 500 meter ascent over Macinnon Pass (1.189 meters) and then down a 1000 meters to the stunning Sutherland Falls, the world’s 3rd tallest waterfalls. Crossing the pass was definitely the most beautiful part of the hike, and the weather god was generous and we had a few hours of blue sky and a 360 degree view of steep valleys and mountains all around us. As soon as we started descending the clouds started building up and followed us down into the valley but we stayed dry that day. That evening the predicted storm and rain came and it rained for the next 2 days. I started early that morning since my Achilles tendons were still very upset and we had to catch a boat at 2 p.m. which would bring us back to the main land. Although I hadn’t hit an iceberg my oh-so-beloved hiking boots which had been my good companions over the past years decided they wanted to play Titanic and withing the first 10 minutes thex turned into an aquarium. So that was also the first time for me to walk in flooded hiking bots for 6 hours. I also learned that the toes don’t freeze if you keep moving, only the last 30 minutes I would have preferred my cosy merino wool socks over my submarines. Big parts of the track were flooded as the water from the many waterfalls didn’t find any other way anymore to cross so you were litereally walking in water.. in the beginning I still tried to avoid the streches of water but after I realized that you can’t get wetter than wet I walked straight through them – just as the tough Kiwis do. 🙂 Upon returning to the camground I treated myself to a nice warm shower-again one of those precious things in life, particularly after such a walk!:) THis album contains photos fromt he last 3 weeks in NZ, hope you like them!
P.S: mom, this posting is for you, I know you would have loved to do this with me so I took you on my walks in my mind!:)