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Nydia Track, Day 1 - Night 85

Havelock, New Zealand

The water taxi for Shag Point, our drop off location, left at 10am. There was only one other hiker with me today, a 40 year old woman from Wellington named Teresa. On board the boat was an elderly couple with their grandkids headed for a holiday home somewhere in the Sounds, as well as a young couple doing some camping in one of the inlets. We were the first ones off. Our stop was little more than a gravel bar along a cliff. The captain pulled up as close as he could and we jumped off the bow (that’s the front) onto land. I cleared the nearly 4 foot gap, Teresa didn’t, but luckily her waterproof boots held and she didn’t have to start the hike with wet feet.

The Nydia Track doesn’t actually start until deep in Kaiuma Bay, so we had to hike it 5 kilometers along a gravel road just to get to the start of the track. After that it was up and over a small 700 foot hill, down into the valley and then back up to the Kaiuma Saddle at just over 1,000 feet of elevation.

It wasn’t an overly difficult climb, but the sun beat down on us – aided by the low growth of the gorse forest – and temperatures hovered about 30 (low 80s) without a hint of wind. We stopped at the saddle for lunch and were met by an elderly couple who had come up from the Te Mahoerangi Backpackers, our intended destination, for a day hike. A few stream crossings, some cattle sightings and two hours later we arrived at Te Mahoerangi.

As we walked into the yard it reminded me of the scene from the movie The Beach where Richard and Co. waltz into the island village. Random people were scattered about the grounds doing odd chores, fixing grounded boats, or inspecting fishing reels. And surprisingly, young people too…though the only one who had the looks for Hollywood was the new manager’s wife, a blond darling of about 30. The buildings were all constructed of pine and by the looks of it fairly well built. Te Mahoerangi is off the grid so all power at the moment comes from a diesel generator; a solar unit is scheduled for installation later this year. The place is fairly new, the grand idea of a hippy couple who started the project, let it fester and now have moved onto to a new scheme on d’Urville Island. In the mean time they’ve hired a young, more business minded couple from Wellington to run it. They’ve upped prices and taken away a few of the perks, we were told by some guests who had been here before, but, overall, they’ve greatly improved the place and have turned it into a profitable business venture (Note: it is still a non-profit which donates all proceeds to environmental causes). I guess progress comes with a price.

A needed nap in the books, I spent the evening touring the bay and reading through their huge collection of old National Geographics. For dinner, the lodge kitchen offered a pumpkin something soup and salad for $35. I enjoyed my own tuna alfredo. At 10pm the generator was shut down, so it was light’s out and bed time for all.

What I Learned Today: Lying down to take my afternoon nap I was completely exhausted. I fell asleep immediately, although it was a strange sleep in that I knew I was sleeping but yet I was partly conscious. I felt as though I could control my dream in a way. It only lasted twenty minutes or so, but I awoke completely reinvigorated and of amazingly clear mind. Perhaps this was a strange sort of fatigue-induced meditation session…I don’t know, but I know this isn’t the first time it has happened to me and it is always caused by a good day of hard work, immediately followed by a nap.

permalink written by  exumenius on January 3, 2008 from Havelock, New Zealand
from the travel blog: Kiwis and Kangaroos
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