South of the south

Off the southern coast of New Zealand is a small island called Stewart Island. The only place in the world closer to Antartica than this is Tierra del Fuego. This fact, mixed with weather reports of rain (and possible snow) showers, did not leave us with high hopes for our time there. But, like the rest of our trip so far, we had amazing weather. It only rained one day.

We took the ferry over to Stewart Island and even though it was supposedly the calmest day in weeks, I had to work hard to fend off a reappearance of my breakfast. We then took off with ambitions of getting as far into the backcountry as we could in four days. Our ambitious first day, through bogs of mud left us fellin old and exhausted, so we shifted routes for an easier way back. Even so, my left knee is suffering from a bit of bursitis (ironically known as “house-maid’s knee”).

The ferry ride back was a bit rougher and two days later I am still feeling nauseous. Luckily we have a bit of down time in the cute little town of Riverton where Nelson will be presenting three workshops at the Southland Environment Center.

We’re not sure where we will head from there since we got an email saying that the next track we had reservations to hike, the Kepler Track, is closed due to avalanches. Maybe out to Doubtful Sound, or the Hump Ridge Track, or as far on the Kepler as we can get. So many possibilities!

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