Edit Blog Post
Published: December 22nd 2014
Slow start from Picton having collected some supplies for the next couple of days then drive out to the sounds. The cabin for the next two nights is on Pelorus sound (the north side of the more famous Queen Charlotte sound). I've already communicated with the hosts (they live in the house next door to the cabin) and they won't be around but the cabin's open (like most houses are anyway on South Island) so I stop off and place some items in the fridge before driving up past the head of the sound, to the Kenepuru saddle and beyond to the beginning of the Mt Stokes track. Only when I get there do I realise I have (of course) been here before. More importantly, cloud is blanketing the summit (and has been all the way up) so there's unlikely to be any sights to be had today. That was the case last time I did the Mt Stokes hike (that blog is no longer online as the blogging site that used to host it died a few years ago) so I decide against repeating the hike.
Instead, I drive back down a bit to Kenepuru Saddle, park the car,
don running gear, hide the car key in an unsuspecting tree and head off for a run down to Big Bay. This is part of the Queen Charlotte Trail (QCT). I run down to the bay, passing a couple of day-trippers (like myself) but then join the main trail just above the campsite (not visited). I run off round the bay surprising a number of trampers. They're approaching the end of their day's tramp (at this stage of the day that's likely to be either the campsite or one of the private lodges a bit further on) so are in "stare at your feet hoping the trail ends soon" mode as I appear around a corner and skip past them before they've had time to register that some madman just ran past them. I pass three groups in this slightly anti-social fashion but each of them casts a cheery greeting my way as I skip away; "good on ya mate" (Aussie suggesting to his wife he could be doing that if she weren't making such hard work of this? Yeah, keep fooling yourself buddy - that beer gut hasn't run anywhere in a while), "Oooh, running, hard!" (german wife trying to make her grumpy husband realise his day could be harder?), "crikey, where did he come from" (Kiwis wondering if they're on the right trail?).
Author's note: As I type this, I have a jumping spider (his name is now Lance) crawling over the screen in anticipation of it attracting an evening meal for him. He's quite convinced my shuffling keyboard-targeted fingers must be edible. I love the endless optimism of jumping spiders.
I run down to the bay, pause briefly. The legs and lungs are still willing so I continue on round the bay until I can catch sight of the next bay. Great trail to run (might be a bit dull to walk) and quiet now as I've passed everyone who's made it this far today.
Author's note: Lance is now hiding under the chips on my plate. Not sure what he's hoping to catch there but he definitely, toddler-like, thinks I can't see him.
Eventually, reluctantly, I turn myself around and reverse the trip back to the car (it's a hard call when I'm enjoying a run but I use my trusty old stopwatch (the F-91W) to track how long it might take me to run back and that eventually does make me feel tired even if my legs & lungs and lying to me). Drive back down to the cabin and meet Lester who's been out with his water safari clients for the afternoon. Their boats became the play-things of the eight-strong pod of Orca in the bay. Turns out I probably drove right past the Orca playground but didn't spot them. Shame, but wildlife is like that - hard to spot if you don't know it's there.
Wonderfully peaceful evening in the cabin. Sitting by the bay watching the tide lapping its way in. So calm - even the rain is gentle. Back at the cabin, I wake myself from where I sat down to read - the body seems to think a rest is in order and I give in to it.
Tot: 1.171s; Tpl: 0.029s; cc: 12; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0075s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb