Nov. 15, 2012 Today we did another five mile hike on the Kepler Track. We were shuttled by Track Net (van size shuttle) to our trail head at Rainbow Reach.
From there we hiked through moss covered, forested land. The type of land you will see in the Hobbit as this is where parts of it were filmed. Yes, on the very trail we were on! G said if he laid down for a nap he would be moss covered when he woke up! On parts of the trail, everything was covered in moss. While I say moss, I should really stop generalizing and expand a bit. Within the moss category, there are many, many varieties—pine needle moss, coral moss, light green moss, moss that seems to have feathers, and the more typical dark green moss.
All of these were on the trail in softly molded mounds that ascended upward to cliffs or downward to a gully. Ferns spread their large, feather shaped leaves and formed a blanket which complemented the moss covered trees, rocks, and dead wood.
A less damp area found the moss comprising a soft, verdant carpet as a background for the other hues of colors in this cool rain forest. What made this walk different from others is that it followed the Waiau (why ow) River. It was a clear, blue/green river and you could stand 20 yards away and see the smooth river rocks lining its bottom. It looked like fairies had taken brushes and lightly stroked the surface of the waters to create ripples here and then there. It moved rapidly downstream to a turn and then widened out and became a lazy river only to revert to its adolescent ways at the next bend. We had lunch perched above the river surrounded by the eerie green of the forest. It was memorable!