Wednesday 26th February (from A49 point to A50 point)
North wind starts blowing from 6 o’clock, getting up to 15 knots. So it’s with facing wind that I’m heading towards Freeman Burn Hut. The West passage is a good training for Fiordland! The Hut is free, rustic but equipped with essentials : 2 long bunk beds logging 10 people, 2 tables, benches and a stove. Just what I was looking for regarding Thursday’s weather forecast, a cosy shelter fro; wind gale and heavy rain, but it didn’t protect from sand flies and mosquitoes which were making their through windows gaps… so I set up the inner tent on the bunk bed to avoid non stop attacks.
Water level changes on the shore of Lake Manapouri have left many leashes, sometimes straight, sometimes lacy. Large footprints reveal white sand forms among the pebbles. They remind me of those that stranded blocks of ice melt on the beaches of Greenland. I attribute these to the trunks or large branches washed up by the water.
Thursday 27th February (from A50 point to A51 point)
The sound of the wind blowing in the trees and the mountains is striking. Rain arrives later, drizzling then pouring down. The view on the lake has disappeared : there is only a white curtain of rain between the first trees, instead of sky, lake and mountains. I might as well take advantage of the windfall of this rain which makes all the insects disappear: bath and shampoo in the lake without sting!
The large amount of rain has changed the flow of the river, I could not paddle up as expected. Equipped with socks and kayak shoes, I set off on foot on the track. The water color has changed from light green to orange yellow.
Traveling alone brings a new facet every day: yesterday a great lack, the absence of network does not help; today a nice feeling of inner calm; all along the south coast, the intense pleasure of very beautiful meetings.
Friday 28th February (from A51 point untel the left point)
Let’s go to the western arm of the lake, closely following the north shore, the wind still blows at 15 knots.
The friendly and smiling Billy has organized my transfer to Deep Cove. It lets me time to meet the team of volunteers who assist Billy in the maintenance of Deep Cove Education Center Hostel.
Rain too is part of the landscape on this side of the mountains!