The Kepler Ache

Trip Start Aug 24, 2004
Trip End May 09, 2005

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, December 20, 2004

Thursday afternoon Chris and I set off to endure a struggle through the Kepler Track-one of DOC's three Great Walks of New Zealand. Day one involved a walk along the shore of Lake Te Anau and after about two hours ascended into beech forest. Zig zagging up the side of the mountain proved to be easier said than done. The alpine section was well received by both of us, signalling only a short (forty five minute) walk to the first hut. The Luxmore Hut was cold. Mount Luxmore was cold.

With a few aches, we set off for the Iris Burn hut on Friday morning. Some parts curved up around a corner, only to repeat over and over again. That day will be the closest I will have to a White Christmas. The snow actually flies up at you since the cold air has to go through the mountains of Fiordland. At times I was reminded of Lord of the Rings and I would say to Chris, "Come on Mr. Frodo". He seemed to become grumpier with every kilometer, partially because he didn't bring any smokes (he was trying to quit). Even though it was snowing, it wasn't too cold if you kept moving. I know what you're thinking, "Did he eat the snow?" You bet I did. Friday night, Chris decided to be anti social so I went downstairs and made friends and opened the Gewurz. I ended up talking with Stephan, a German from Munchen (Munich), and Inbal and Yaniv from Tel Aviv (Israel).

When I awoke Saturday morning, Chris was gone. For some reason that didn't quite surprise me, but I still had a great time. I figured I'd see him at the next hut. About an hour into the walk toward Motorua Hut(sp?) on Lake Manapouri I ran into Inbal and Yaniv again. Between them and my iRiver, the walk to the next hut was enjoyable, but increasingly painful. Once at the hut, I noticed Chris was nowhere in site so I figured he was

A.) Walking home
B.) Floating face down in a river
C.) None of the Above

Answer: Well, actually I was hoping it was A., but had no way of confirming until I made it back to town Sunday.

It turns out that he simply just kept walking all the way back to Te Anau. That didn't bother me much and he probably had a pretty crappy time, but that was his choice. Saturday night I strolled the beaches of Lake Manapouri listening to the Icelandic gibberish that is Sigur Ros. That was probably the best night, except I couldn't quite get a fire started on the beach, which was disappointing. However, that did leave me with a smell that I was used to in Dan's back yard over the past couple summers. Remember the burning plastic bags? haha

Sunday was pretty much flat struggle back to town. My legs ached, my feet ached. By the time I did make it to town I was tired, but for some reason I felt like I could just head right back up the mountain. Of course I didn't and now I'm nursing my random cuts and blisters. At least I've had a shower finally. I suppose you don't want to know about 40+ people in a hut that haven't showered for four days.

If you receive something in the mail, show it to others and I'd be grateful. Thanks and adios for now.
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