Seven months around the world.... August 2004 - March 2005 travel blog

Danielle, my hiking partner for the trip

Our home the first night - Bungaree Hut

Danielle on the first big beach we came to.

Part of the "bush" forest on Stewart Island (don't know the type...

Day Three - overlooking Smokey Beach, with the first of many sand...

Another view of Smokey Beach

In the dunes

The north end of Smokey BEach - while hiking across this 2...

The Long Harry Hut - my birthday party hut

Inside the hut - nice digs

Danielle making birthday cookies

The next series are from this saddle or the left rock. Being...

looking southeast, from whence we came (from the saddle)

Everything was all lit up!!!

Danielle - being all lit up!

Birthday boy was all lit up, too.

I did truly have a colorful birthday party!!!

Looking back toward birthday point the next day.

Looking northwest, to more adventures.

We had lunch at the end of this "beach" during a sucker...

End of lunch, end of sucker hole, time for one quick photo...

East Ruggedy Beach, our hut for Halloween was just out of view...

East Ruggedy sand dunes, during my evening walk. Saw my second kiwi...

The dunes of West Ruggedy Beach

Granite outcroppings on the way down to West Ruggedy Beach

Down to the beach at West Ruggedy

West Ruggedy Beach

A 46 year old hiking dude on West Ruggedy Beach - the...

Looking northeast on West Ruggedy (from whence we came), the Ruggedy Islands...

The interior of Stewart Island

With Codfish Island in the background

And now let's spend a few pictures talking about muddy trails.

And these were taken after two days of sunny weather. After rain,...

And check those steps out???

Sunset from Hellfire Pass, looking at Hellfire Beach

More island interior, from Hellfire Pass

Approaching Mason Bay (the bigger one in the distance).

Overlooking Mason Bay, the last big beach (and the biggest) of the...

Mason Bay (after nursing my battery along for seven days, this was...

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."

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