January 3, 2014

Queen Charlotte Track: Day 3

Day three was the longest of our itinerary: 25K to and from the water to the highest point of the track and along the ridgeline for a while before heading back down.

Also, it was pouring down rain all night and drizzling off and on when we headed out, so we knew it would be a difficult day.

The exit from Punga Cove resort to the southern portion of the track.
Even with the weather, it was a beautiful and invigorating way to spend the day -- in some ways, I think it may have forced us to go even faster than we otherwise would have because if we slowed down we'd just get even wetter.

How adorable is this photo?

I couldn't understand why E didn't want to wear a hat...
At one look-out point there were distance signs to major international cities.  It was interesting to see that my instincts about global distances aren't very good when you start throwing the southern hemisphere into it.

I'm sure this view is gorgeous when it's not blocked by clouds.
We turned the last major corner to see yet another beautiful view that we agreed would have been breathtakingly perfect under a clear sky but wasn't too bad in this weather either.

Using the "Creative" filter -- essentially hypercolor
Finally, after a long descent that started to take a serious toll on pour E's knees, we made it to the crossroads for that evening's resort.  The weather started to clear and we were treated to great views.

Signs to Picton, Torea Bay (nearest boat dock), and the track

The bay at the Portage Resort, views over the building with our room.
After checking in, it was clear that E needed to ice both his recovering foot *and* his knees.  So, after getting him situated with the ice, I headed down to the bar to grab two beers and walk them back to the room.  I crossed the parking lot just as some of the workers from the hotel who helped check us in were loading a van and they called out to me, jokingly thanking me for bringing them beer at first, and then saying "tell your mate he's got a good one wit' you."  Thanks, Kiwis.  I was happy to deliver the message.

This hotel had been around for quite some time, but it had been recently remodeled.

Mud from the day's efforts.

The view from our balcony.
In keeping with the general theme, we ate dinner as soon as the restaurant opened and fell into a deep sleep early in the evening.  We were fully in vacation mode at this point -- we hadn't had a wi-fi signal or any cell service in 3 days.  It was wonderful.

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