New ZealAND (Part 6)
It's another early get up. As I walk into the dining area to fix my lunch for the day, Shawn (of the Dead as we call him) lets me know that the guides did a blood sacrifice last night and the rain scheduled for day has disappeared from the forecast. I'm not quite sure I believe that so I wear pants (for the first time in 6 weeks I believe) and put on a rain coat. Even if it's not raining, it's still pretty damp out there and a bitty chilly. But I actually think this is the mildest morning yet.
And we are off. It's 13.5 miles to Sandfly Point which is the end of the track and where we will catch a boat over our lodge for the evening. It's still a bit dark and we are walking through this mysterious looking rainforest that seems even more green and lush after the rain last night. The forest is just so much more alive it seems. We're walking along the Arthur River which we hear gurgling just a few yards away from us, though hidden by the lush green forest. Not far from the lodge, we get one last view of the Sutherland Falls and then we head back into the forest.
We stop briefly at the Dumpling Hut (and no they didn't serve dumplings) and then we kept walking. It's a gentle downhill, but my feet are complaining. I've got a little blister on my baby toe which one of the guides wrapped up for me. But it still hurts. We stop at the Boatshed, which is where they used to house boats used to move supplies up from Lake Ada, where I take off my raincoat, put on a thin long sleeve t-shirt, and Deet up again. The sandfliest are everywhere and they lust after human blood. It's really insane. And I've got Deet all over me. In my hair. On my arms. Around my neck. Wherever there is exposed skin. After the Boatshed, we cross the Arthur Valley by swing bridge and come across the Mackey Falls which are gorgeous! With the rain from last night, the water is roaring down the falls.
A little after the 30 mile marker, we stop for lunch. The sand flies oddly enough are not interested in our food, only us. So annoying. While we are eating, a wecka comes out of the woods to investigate us. It's a native bird with a huge body. And not very shy. We were specifically told not to feed them, but some people were. Oh well. After lunch, we stop for a minute at the Giants Gate falls. So amazingly pretty! I really do love waterfalls and there are hundreds in this area. From there, it's only 2.5 miles to Sandfly Point.
(In the voice of Stefan from SNL). Sandfly Point is the HOTTEST new club in the South Island! It's got everything! It's an amazing new open air club that doesn't need disco balls or lasers. It's got the natural beauty of Milford Sound as it's backdrop! It's super exclusive with a waiting list that is 4 days long. When those lucky few get into the club, they are not greeted with that old boom, boom, boom of techno music, they are greeted with the sound of only wild birds and the hum of insects. Only the hottest people are allowed into the club and once they do get in, they start dancing with their hands in the air. You've got to dance as fast as you can or the sandflies will bite you and offer a blood sacrifice to the nature all around you! It's dance or die at this hot new club! :-)
We only had to wait about 10 minutes at Sandfly Point before we caught a small boat over to the marina at Milford Sound and then to our lodge. Where a nice, long shower was key. As was the glass of wine I'm currently enjoying!