Good morning, campers. Ha! No, that's not me and we didn't walk this part. But that is a shot of the alpine ridgeline that's part of the 37-mile Kepler track, which starts at the south end of Lake Ta Anau (very near where we're camping) and wends its way through Fiordland National Park. It takes three or four days to complete this NZ Great Walk, the path crossing a diverse sampling of limestone bluffs, mossy forests, rivers, and wetlands along with that amazing alpine crossing.
Both the mountain range and the walk are named for 17th century German astronomer Johannes Kepler.
We're loving this NZ Raukapuka Red cheddar for snacks and for melting.
Cheesy eggs, veg, and fruit for breakfast
At the start of the Kepler, serious warnings. My favorite is the last bullet point: "...and do you know how to use them?"
Sad, but true.
Our walk today is easy. And we're not carrying all our food and water with us (heaven forfend).
Just a couple hours walking in this beauty is more relaxing to me than any spa treatment.
Some hikers were coming toward us when Art was making this picture "I'm holding up the trees for you," I said. "Don't let go!" they responded.
This portion of the track drops down to the shores of Lake Te Anau, where this morning's overcast skies are lit up. The sun feels so good.
NZ is serious about its possum problem. Makes me feel even happier about our possum hats and sweaters (blended with sheep's wool). They're uber-warm.
Across this southern end of Lake Te Anau lies the hamlet of the same name where we're camping.
Back in town on the other side of the lake mid-afternoon, it's still sunny.
We revisited the harbor in a crystal light.
Then it was time to stop for a flat white and biscotti, next to a warm fireplace. The high today was in the mid-40s.
Prince Harry visited a month or so ago, making a stop on Stewart Island, NZ's miniscule third island, where we're headed. This story was about how his brief time there--among other activities visiting a pub and participating in a pub quiz--was boosting awareness of Stewart Island.