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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Dynamo Hut

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 9 October 2017 | Views [370]

In just a few days I'm leaving for LA and in less than two weeks I'll be in Chile! My annual winter Queenstown sojourn is winding down, and I wanted to do one more spectacular thing before leaving for my next big adventure. Earlier in the season I was planning the Routeburn Track for around this time but part of the track is closed due to avalanche risks, so an alternate option was the Greenstone-Caples Track but the weather was iffy last week and it's a 4-day/3-night walk. A geocache would inspire me to walk to Dynamo Hut, deep in the wilderness of Skippers Canyon. For the past several months I've been working on a series of "unloved" caches and I noticed the cache at Dynamo Hut hadn't been found in more than 2 years. I packed my sleeping bag, pillow, tea, billy, gas cannister, and a camping meal of freeze-dried roast lamb with vegetables, all the night before. Only then did I discover that cache was found only the night before! How heartbreaking. I can't complete my challenge now...

It didn't matter, I laced up my tramping boots, and set out with my thumb out toward Skippers Canyon. Tyler and I flew our drones out here yesterday and suggested he could have dropped me at Skippers Cemetery (the starting point of the track to Dynamo Hut) but I had stuff to do and figured I'd do this today. It was a little tricky getting a lift but a young couple from Perth and Gore picked me up and they opted to drive out to the cemetery.

From there it was a walk into the unknown as I've done many fantastic walks in NZ. 20 minutes into my walk I encountered a stream I had to cross, so I took my boots and socks off as I walked in. The water is punishingly cold...cold enough to where your feet will hurt. Upon my fourth stream crossing I was talking to myself: "Chris Farrell, you can do this! You're powerful enough to overcome. Analyze and determine the best crossing." There was no keeping my boots dry, as I needed both hands free. Furthermore, I didn't want my camera around my neck with these stream crossings. Sandflies swarmed me as I put my socks and boots back on. These nasty buggers wanted fresh blood and I must have swatted dozens of them off me today. In I went, boots inundated.

That was after only four crossings, and I had dozens more to go. With my camera in my backpack, I used my phone for the occasional photo. For more than two hours I followed a track. Two streams I crossed, and I kept count, a total of 71 times. Up a hill I spotted Dynamo Hut, and it appears to have been around for more than a century. At the hut already were a couple, their two teenaged boys, and their dog. Good, because that meant the fire was already lit.

Immediately I put some water on my camping stove for a cup of tea, and then I flew my trusty drone, Juliett. With a photo of Dynamo Hut from 330 metres above, I'm in awe!


For the first time I've had all three of my photographic media handy (camera, drone, phone) for a diverse range of photos. Here are examples from each medium, respectively:

Food always tastes better after hard work, and although a far cry from Aunt Jo's roast lamb, the freeze-dried version along with a cuppa did the job tonight. A previous trekker was nice enough to leave some salt & pepper behind. One rule of thumb I have is that I always leave a box of matches behind in case someone arrives and they forgot their matches (or they got wet).  As I was really tired yesterday, I fell asleep early and slept in late. I'd take Juliett for one final flight before I trudged through 71 crossings in reverse. I snapped a photo of a waterfall that I could only get with Juliett.

After another long NZ winter, the walk to Dynamo Hut was the perfect end to the season.

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