|After Doubtful Sound and parting ways with Chris and Alex (who'd I'd spent most of the last week+ with, but they were onto other adventures I'd get to later), and having scheduled a number of the classic tracks for the latter part of my time here (to allow more snow to melt off, and thus be able to even go on the tracks), I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do next. So, I just headed southeast, and within a few hours found myself asking a gas station attendant when the last ferry to Stewart Island was. I had wanted to go there since first reading about it months ago (one of the longest, most remote tracks is there). But since arriving here, I'd had a good number of people tell me things about it that was dissuading me of that interest. But alas, I wwent with trip rule #2 - be open to opportunities. So, off to the ferry I went. Upon arriving at the ferry terminal, I saw a woman I had met at the hostel in Te Anau - Danielle. She was heading to Stewart Island to hike the long track I'd thought about so much - the Northwest Circuit, it's called. So, I asked if she wanted company, which she did, and so there was a new plan. Staying open to opportunities, and this one turned out to be a fine one. A good time was had by all. New Zealand keeps treating me well. Danielle was a great hiking partner (an amazing 18 year old, who will become a "Prescott-ere" starting in Jan). I had a great 46th birthday, and the hike was a definate milstone in terms of backcountry walks. As Chris P. was so aptly saying, "It's all good."