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Day 10 thru 13 - Walking the Queen Charlotte Track

NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 9 November 2010 | Views [695] | Comments [6]

Endeavor Inlet, from our room's balcony.

Endeavor Inlet, from our room's balcony.

On Sunday morning, we flew in a small 10-seater from Wellington on the North Island, to Picton on the South Island.  From Picton, we took a water taxi to our walking start point, at Ship's Cove near the mouth of Queen Charlotte's Sound.  Captain Cook spent a couple of weeks here on each of his global circumnavigation voyages, as it was about halfway from London, and was a great place to get fresh water, fruits and vegetables, and wood for ship repairs.

We have been carrying day packs with bag lunches, and staying in pretty nice lodges each night.  The vegetation is lush, lots of tree ferns, and lots of huge beech trees.  We have been looking down onto beautiful coves and bays as we walk along the ridgeline.  There hasn't been too much wildlife.  Prior to Maori's showing up about 800 years ago, birds were at the top of the heap in New Zealand.  Many of them were flightless because there were no predators on the ground.  The only mammal was a bat, and the only reptile was an ancient lizard.  Now there are wild pigs, goats, rabbits, and, of course, rats.  But the biggest problem animal by far is a possum imported from Australia for it's fur.  NZ is fighting with poisons, and until now is hesitant to try and introduce a predator that will hunt and eat the possums, since those plans always seem to backfire.  In any event, they eat all sorts of vegetation, bird eggs and chicks, etc.  We saw one ina tree the other night, and they are actually adorable, nothing at all like the nasty possums in North America.

We've also run across a flightless bird called a weka.  They are a little smaller than chickens, and we understand that the Maoris used to eat them.  They are fearless and pretty entertaining, and the ones on the trail seem to be very eager for a handout.

Tomorrow we finish walking, take the water taxi back to Picton to be reunited with our rental car, then heading south.

 

Comments

1

The sea/landscapes are gorgeous...somewhat similar to Puget Sound but bigger and more lush. I can just picture the Endeavor, hove to off Ship's Cove, as Capt Cook and his crew row to shore. Are the beech trees the same variety as the ones in Scotland? Surely not planted by Europeans...but perhaps. Waiting for the description of a typical NZ breakfast. Anything like UK? And sticking my neck way out b/c I must....I conjecture that V wrote the above offering: a little more cut and dry, "just the facts, ma'am", broken into paragraphs. Thanks to you both for offering these logs to your world of family and friends. I enjoy the heck out of them!

  Dr Cool J Nov 11, 2010 4:11 AM

2

- Beeches are native, have smaller leaves than those in UK.
- Yes, Vinnie wrote blog.
- Breakfasts are generally pretty sad, not as good as Scotland. They seem to like toast and coffeee the best, so we are sticking with that. Overall, the food has been a disappointment, we really haven't have a great meal yet, but we've quite a few mediocre meals, and several bad ones.

  Vinnie Nov 11, 2010 5:48 AM

3

Have you guys seen the news story about the cruise ship that had to be towed into San Diego? Its engine room caught fire and really did a number on the ship's systems. All bars and restaurants closed. No hot food (food actually being brought in by helicopter). No A/C. Limited lighting. Full refunds plus extras. Couldn't help but think of our favorite December cruisers.

  Bernie Nov 11, 2010 12:21 PM

4

And they had norunning water and noooooooo operable toilets......................

  vicki Nov 12, 2010 3:42 AM

5

....and a pallet of SPAM was shown being airlifted onto the deck by a Coast Guard chopper. A, if you just fry it up sliced with a bit of syrup on top it'll go down...and then soak up the orange grease puddle with a slice of bread and you will be good for an hour or two.

  Dr Pressed Pork J Nov 13, 2010 4:59 PM

6

....until you need an operable toilet....................

  vicki Nov 17, 2010 8:29 AM

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