Seems Like We’re Stranded on Stewart Island

Many a times, I get it in my head that when it comes to doing something, it has to be done with a lot of gusto and determination. Otherwise, we’d all sit around and talk about things and say to ourselves and to each other, “one day I will…blank blank blank” (a decidedly vague phrase that I utterly avoid using).

So why wait? My thought this time was simple: geographically speaking, New Zealand is known for two things, North and South Island. That’s it, right? Ok, well there’s also Stewart Island, a place way down below that happened to form one day when Maori man Maui sat in his canoe (South Island) and caught a giant fish (North Island) while using his anchor (Stewart Island).

Cool, sounds interesting to me. Let’s go do something and check that anchor out!

The get going part was tough – we probably had more coffees and Red Bulls than hours of sleep, but it did get us through the seven hour night drive to Invercargill. From there, it was catch the ferry to Stewart in order to start our multi-day hike. Harold desperately wanted a nap, so we nabbed a spot in the front row right by the window (probably the worst seat on board). Settling in, the captain mentioned something about seasickness and paper bags, but my eyes were closed and the sun had just disappeared.

It was awful. I’d imagine slight bouts of rockiness but not fresh off the boat nausea. Harold kept clutching his stomach and I did my best  to hold my nose. The woman next to me had spewed the entire way, and barely seemed aware that her two kids had spewed all over themselves, plus the railing, and the carpet….boy, my heart ached for the cleanup crew.

As soon as we got off, the rain had ceased and a rainbow came out. Damn you Foveaux Strait! I swear next time I’ll buy the ginger pills.

Never mind though because here was the Rakiura Track – one of the Great Walks of New Zealand! Woot woot! Yay for birds, and nature, and all that good outdoorsy stuff.

Overall, the hike pretty much sucked. Both the lack of astounding scenery (we’ve been far too spoiled elsewhere Middle-earth) and a hard-to-navigate trail overtaken by mud made the walk a real drag. There were very few other people around, and we got ridiculously excited over seeing the cutest baby owl on a branch.

To be fair, we did count nine different kinds of birds such as fantails, tui, bellbirds, oyster catchers, heron, and Buller’s mollymawks (aggressive-looking albatrosses). Harold also managed to spot a kiwi’s ass just before it ran off into the bush at night.

For more reclusive individuals, the prospect of being stranded on Stewart Island might sound appealing. However, between our unfriendly shuttle driver, the very few hellos exchanged, and a Four Square guy who rudely yelled at us, the place did not warm me over. The mindset to go and follow through with it had been met, but the heartstrings were not tugged.

No bigs though, because food makes everything better. As soon as we got back to the mainland, my feverous search for Bluff oysters were, ironically enough, fulfilled not in the namesake town of Bluff but in Invercargill, where a fresh healthy dozen awaited our hard-earned ravenous stomachs. BrokeLemons ready to eat!

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