It appears that you are currently using Ad Blocking software. What are the consequences? Click here to learn more.
Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

The Milford Track: R&R‏

March 21st, 2010 · 3 Comments

Print This Post Print This Post
Advertisment


My third day on New Zealand’s famous Milford Track could not have been more different from what had gone before. In fact it was my first day in the country that I had time to slow down with no place to go. I needed the day for rest and recuperation from the pain in my right side that had almost crippled me on the way up to Mintaro Hut.

Unlike the tough experience of hiking in pain through the rain to reach the hut at dark on the second day of my tramp, my third day dawned mostly clear. No rain fell and the sun was out most of the day.

But even before the sun came up, Christine told me some good news. “You can see a kea on the porch right now,” she said.

A kea, the only true alpine parrot, is something of a mischief maker. One was indeed out on the porch busy knocking rocks off of the porch rail.

The Kea is Ready to Get Attack This Rock

The Kea is Ready to Get Attack This Rock

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A bit later this bird flew off a bit into the nearby bush and posed for me in a natural setting.

The Kea Poses in the Bush

The Kea Poses in the Bush

Click on the picture above to enlarge

All the hikers, including Steve and Christine, left when it was light. I said goodbye to my good friends here.

Steve and Christine Set Off for Their Third Day on the Milford Track

Steve and Christine Set Off for Their Third Day on the Milford Track

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Hut ranger Caine suggested that I might want to stroll up to nearby Lake Mintaro and then join him for “tea and scones” in his cabin. I did.

Lake Mintaro

Lake Mintaro

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Mt. Hart, Elevation 5,869 Feet, From Lake Mintaro

Mt. Hart, Elevation 5,869 Feet, From Lake Mintaro

Click on the picture above to enlarge

At the lake I watched the familiar Canada geese that I see every day at home. But our mountains aren’t quite as steep.

Canada Geese in Flight

Canada Geese in Flight

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A Female Paradise Shelduck at the Edge of Lake Mintaro

A Female Paradise Shelduck at the Edge of Lake Mintaro

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Back at Mintaro Hut, the sun, blocked for most of the day by the mountain wall, finally hit the hut.

Mintaro Hut

Mintaro Hut

Click on the picture above to enlarge

After enjoying tea and scones with Caine, he went off to work, while I read in his library. Then, I walked up to Lake Mintaro one more time, and took a delicious nap, continuing my rest and recuperation.

Caine is originally from England, having worked for years in the merchant marine. He emigrated to New Zealand six years ago and lives in Invercargill where he works in the off-season as an arborist. His wife works in a hospice, and they have two teenage children.

That night Caine went so far as to offer me the hospitality of my sharing his cabin. I bunked in his guest bedroom with a bathroom just across the hall that had not only a flush toilet but also hot and cold running water.

I truly had a complete day of R&R to prepare for my journey back on my fourth day on the Milford Track.

Share

Tags:
Posted in: New Zealand

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alberto Baraya // Apr 5, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Love the picture of the Kea and Pukeko birds.

  • 2 Laurie D // Apr 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    You lucky duck – I wanted to see a Kea!!! I don’t know how you got all the pics of birds! I certainly heard them – but they were elusive to me!

  • 3 David Mendosa // Apr 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Dear Laurie,

    You are so right about me being lucky! Even when things go wrong — as when I couldn’t complete the Milford Track hike — I was so lucky to have such wonderful help from friends and strangers.

    Best regards,

    David

Leave a Comment