Oct. 19, 2012 We are now in Picton. Actually we arrived yesterday via the Intercity Bus Service. The ride was noteworthy for the beautiful scenery.
The hills just undulated in hues of green! Undulate really does not describe them, a paint brush would do so much better. It was a large hill with numerous others of varying sizes up close and personal to it; multiply that by ten sets of the same and you can, maybe, get a visual image.
The other pertinent thing to note was the wind. Oh, my! Did it ever blow! We stopped in a small town, Kaikoura,
and saw several fire engines heading through town. Later when we left, we passed the cause of the excitement. A truck carrying large containers of fuel had over almost over turned. The wind was the cause. It pushed our bus around but we held steady and arrived about 10 minutes late into Picton.
Today, Oct. 19, we hiked part of the Queen Charlotte trail. It included arriving by ferry at Resolution Bay.
This is where Captain Cook and crew would dock and pull the ship ashore for repairs. He did this for 5 of his voyages. Of course, they, including Banks, explored the island and enjoyed the native women for their month long stay here. So here we were on a 6 mile hike where famous and historical figures had walked before. Wow! We are connected with the past albeit England’s past but also with New Zealand’s present. We even found insect repellant with Deet; we were going to get the 80% Deet since all the travel literature talks about these biting sandflies which just swam you, but the lady working that area assured us that 20% Deet would do the trick. G was convinced! The night prior to the hike we checked out backs, put in the first aid kit, Sam splint, snacks and lunch. Rain gear was packed on the outside. Early the next morning after taking a sea sickness pill (Bonine), off we went to catch our
water shuttle to Ship Cove. It was really a small boat that held less than 30 people plus luggage (some people walk the entire trail and spend the nights at inns along the way. We were nearly full plus a gent had brought his dog to do the hike.
It was the sweetest black lab and she loved to be petted. G was on the outside seat so he got to get his petting fix for the day. I told him to imagine it was Spot; he just rolled his eyes.
We disembarked at Ship Cove, read the placards, saw the monument, and started our hike.
It was quite an elevation gain at first and then we would go down, then up, then down.
It was 6 miles one way. The trail was probably 2 yards wide and consisted of pale yellow clay interspersed with rocks of varying sizes. We went through forested areas of beeches, ferns, and palms.
Every so often there would be a gully lined with palms and ferns which would allow us a look out to the cove. We actually saw several coves and bays—Ship Cove, Resolution Bay, and Endeavour Inlet. It’s hard to tell which is which. It is so pristine and, compared to US standards, undeveloped. Blue liquid poured into a round yellow bowl which glows when the rays of the sun hit it.
Unfortunately, we saw very little of that. Thankfully, our preparations the night before kept us in good stead. We put on out rain gear; G covered up his back pack and we just kept hiking. Did I tell you that stopping the hike was not permissible? Not if you wanted to catch the boat back to Picton—it left at 3pm and if you weren’t there, well, too bad! So we were rained and hailed on, but we preserved and at the end of our hike had hot tea and coffee in a lodge next to the wharves.
I’m glad we did part of the Queen Charlotte track and, hopefully, in the long run that will have as much importance as that hot pot of tea had at the end of the hike!