The keas decided it was time to wake up the camp.
We tried to get a good photo, but they fled. We got this one a while back though of a New Zealand parrot:
We finished the trail a bit early and have a week to spare so we decided to rent a car to explore a couple of bits that we hadn’t visited.
From Fred and Dave: ‘We guess you have hired a Britz Campervan now? You sell outs’. Britz is one of the thousands of companies that rent camper vans, a super popular way to travel around New Zealand (faster than walking, that’s for sure).
This was the scene at Lake Gunn campsite near Milford Sound. So many camper vans.
We made a video special for them to show them our ‘camper van’, complete with all the amenities.
Z, April 13th 2014
Back when we started, we decided to do a little experiment. Before we left, we took measurements of our bodies to see if walking 3000km would change them.
The results are in:
Both of our bellies shrank, Z shrinking by 7cm.
My upper body shrank. Z’s chest shrank(insert easy joke here), but arms grew.
M, 12 April 2014
We know it’s late in coming, but we had the idea for this video in the North Island but never got around to making it. And when it got down to the last meals, it was either raining or too windy or we just weren’t eating P.O.P. P.O.P stands for Plain Old Pasta. We’ve eaten it for at least 80% of our trail dinners. It’s some shape of pasta (elbows, penne, spirals, macaroni) cooked with nothing on it. No sauce. No butter. Only a dash of salt if we have it. I have to say that I am not sick of it. We made a video on Oreti Beach on how to make P.O.P on the trail. Enjoy!
Z, April 9th 2014
The last couple days have been a trip. We wrapped up the section from Otautau, passing through Colac Bay, Riverton and Invercargill.
We had our last night in a hut, unexpectedly but since it was pouring rain, we were happy for it. A quick video tour of Martin’s Hut:
Have to appreciate Colac Beach for having a great surfer monument:
Riverton was a cute town and then we hit Invercargill, which we passed right through.
It’s felt a lot like the North Island around here: lots of muddy jungle, small hills instead of proper mountains, in and out of towns all day, farmland and roads instead of trails….but it’s been pretty nevertheless. We were back near the ocean and the beach, which was exciting since we hadn’t been on beach since the North Island (but this time, it was freezing).
After passing through Invercargill we spent our last night in the tent in a farm halfway to Bluff and then wrapped things up the next morning.
Getting to the end of such a long journey always creates a mix of emotions. We’ve been planning and working on this trip for well over a year, walking it for about a third of one, and now, finally, we don’t have to walk anymore.
We celebrated with a bottle of champagne and some lovely Bluff oysters (no, Mike didn’t try any).
It’s surprisingly liberating to have the thing done and the task complete, but we’ll miss it.
M and Z, April 9th 2014