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Continental Divide Trail 2011 close to 3000 miles through new mexico, colorado, wyoming and montana. May 1 start date.

The Finest Walk in the World

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 9 May 2008 | Views [548] | Comments [1]

Hello again! I have just returned from Te Anau and Fjordland NP and am back in Queenstown, which has been my south island base for the last month. I finished my last tramp yesterday, which is sad. I had planned on doing a 10-day trip on Stewart Island, the most southern end of NZ but now that I am returning home on May 22 I decided I'd see a few towns and wwoof one more time before I leave. I have a long list of tramps I want to do when I return to New Zealand, whenever that may be.

So, I met up with an American study abroad student, Julie, who I met while tramping in Nelson Lakes. We spent 4 days walking the Milford and 4 days walking the Kepler. This morning when we parted, both of us said the last 10 days were our favorite in New Zealand. I had a blast. It was fun to have a tramping partner and I ran into about 10 other trampers I have met on other tracks and I seem to be pretty well-known within the tramping community here in the south island. =) The Milford, is known as "the finsest walk in the world" and is the most well-known and also the most expensive track to walk in NZ. All of us who have Annual Hut Passes waited for May 1 to come around, when the booking season ends so that we could use the huts for free. We did have to pay for boats and busses, which wasn't cheap, but it was half of the normal price. Julie and I decided to go gourmet and I baked a chocolate cake and carried it in, along with eggs, veggies, chocolate, and any other luxury I wanted. There were about 15 of us who walked the Milford together and we called ourselves the "Fellowship of the Milford." I have been very lucky with weather in the last few months. I always seem to have sunny days while I am tramping and then it rains on my off days. It has been pretty incredible. It snowed on us one day on the milford but Julie and I planned on climbing back over the pass the next day anyway. It was clear and sunny the second day and with the fresh snow we wondered if we were in heaven. The Milford is well-known for having dozens of waterfalls and massive mountains. I felt like I was walking through Yosemite Valley, except with no roads and only 14 other people for kilometers. There were icycle waterfalls and endless snow-topped mountains. We couldn't have asked for a better experience. Almost the whole trip we kept saying: "Amazing! Beautiful!" and meant it every time.

We had one evening off and walked another Great Walk, the Kepler. Several members of the Fellowship of the Milford walked it with us and I also ran into some great friends I made in Cape Reinga, the Dart track and the Greenstone. It's hard for me to go anywhere without recognizing someone. I love it. Once again, we had fantastic weather. The Kepler takes us to a hut on top of a ridge overlooking two large lakes and 3 mountain ranges as far as the eye can see. I called the hut "The Luxmore" because it was more like a luxury hotel with large viewing windows and nice places to sit and watch the sunset and sunrise. There was a cave nearby where we explored for over an hour befire deciding to turn around. Julie and I brough flour and yeast on this trip and made chapattis and backcountry bread. We also carried in apple cobbler and other luxury food items. There was a funny old kiwi man on the trip who slept on the table every night. The very last night, my last night in a hut, 4 more of my tramping buddies happened to be hiking in so we had a great lsat night telling stories and laughing. Yesterday, Julie, another friend Adam and I made pizza and peach pie to celebrate the end of our tramping. I will miss it. There is still so much I want to see. But it IS the beginning of winter and I am looking forward to being in Yellowstone again, and the thought that one day I can return here.

the pass

the pass

Comments

1

can't wait to talk to you stateside, but bummed that your adventure is being postponed.

  Matty O May 21, 2008 3:11 PM

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