There we all are on the boat back to Manapouri: Tom (red), Michiel, Annemiek and Derek
Now we have a 45 minute walk to catch the boat across the lake.
And suddenly, we pop of the woods onto a gravel road. Funny... didn't the previous sign say six hours to hike out? This says 4.5 hours to hike in. Odd. It actually took us 5.5 hours. Somebody call that in.
Even the water is green. The Spey River gaining size as we get further down the valley.
Through the moss covered trees and green green everywhere.
Another glimpse of wildlife, not sure what kind of bird this is.
Again... where's the trail? Follow the orange, blindly at times.
Still, no shortage of mud.
The clouds are still a bit golden as we start in the morning, departing Upper Spey Hut.
Seven hours down today, six to go tomorrow.
Back on the main trail, heading down into the valley from the pass, a new river starting to form under my feet.
Looking east, our primary direction of travel, off the end of Mt. Memphis. No sightings of Elvis. Sorry.
The summit of Mt. Memphis with a shoddy old radar beacon supported by slack wires and a pile of rocks.
More traped water along the broad ridge leading up to the summit.
Some sort of fire flower of which I don't know the real name.
Derek presses on from the pass while I take a side climb and find this riparian Garden of Eden on my up to Mt. Memphis.
Finally cresting Centre Pass we stop for lunch and look down into a branch of the Spey Valley ahead.
Tripod Hill with Tripod Rock...
Looking up, the looming headwall below Centre Pass and the end of the Seaforth River.
Tripod Hill (895m) rises above Gair Loch where we started this morning.
The climb to Centre Pass has begun. As we climb the roots up the steep slope, I have to remember to look back for the view.
Looking down stream from midway across the walkwire.
Another walkwire crossing... this one a bit higher than the others.
A burst of wildlife races across the trail. The ground nesting Weka bird.
We did however find some amazing green corridors. But things like this come at the cost of lots of rain and mud.
Ah yes. Another early start, right into the mud. Yee Haw.
Another day done. Tomorrow seven hours over Centre Pass to Upper Spey Hut.
Rebecca Falls streaks through a world of green in this misty valley as we draw near Kintail Hut.
Another river crossing. This time with out the aid of a walkwire. Good ole rock hoping.
This was curious... a copper stream flowing through grey sand. We figured there must be some source of iron where the water came from.
An eerie bridge... notice the dead vegetation dripping from the upper railing? That's because that's how high the water level gets after a heavy rain. We timed it just right, as rain is the norm in this part of the world.
Some sections of trail however have obviously remained undisturbed for some time as the thick moss continues to drip and sag from the limbs and rocks.
Continuing along against the flow of the Seaforth River, we have to work our way over the debris fields of various landslides and washouts across the trail.
Derek and I are up and going early the next morning. Our hut mates are still sleeping and their gear continues to hang from the ramada trying to dry.
The Dusky Track in Fiordland National Park, Southwest corner of South Island, New Zealand. Hikers: Cameron Martindell & Derek Spitz
We made it back to the hut in time for the sunset.
The largest walkwire we crossed. The water doesn't quite get as high as that, but folks have been stranded on either side because the access to the walkwire from this side comes right down to this level.
Back down along the river, we walked on the flood plain. Can you see where the water level often gets to? Just below the major branching. All around us, these bushes were covered in dried river slime still hanging on.
Some of the roots along the trail we had to climb up and climb back down. See the trail marker?
Derek takes a look down hill on our way back down to the cabin.
A lone flower survives in this otherwise flowerless landscape.
On our way back down, grassy tufts on rolling hills fading away into the distance down the valley to a small glimpse of Dusky Sound where we started yesterday.
A sole cairn, a small peak in a scene among many peaks.
More little lakes... oh, and a sudden drop into deep valley below.
From here, these mountains simply look like rolling hills. The climb up told us otherwise.
Little pools of stranded rain water were all over the place up here.
The trail markers had to be large and substantial up here. The weather can undoubtedly get very nasty.