Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

The Pods do the Milford Tramp...Day Two

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This entry was posted on 12/22/2006 10:16 PM and is filed under New Zealand.

Day 2 of the Milford Tramp...Glade House to Pompolona Lodge...16m/10 miles - 8 hours of walking...

The trail was originally marked with mile posts, and kilometers were later added.  These became quite our friends...!  Check this out....

The Miles of Day 2

The weather looked good.  No rain and clear skies.  We had breakfast, packed a lunch, put on our backpacks and set out on our adventure.  We were encouraged to go at our own pace.  The guides would be spaced between us.  One in the front, one in the middle and the last one would come with the slowest walkers.  The motto here was "No worries, No hurries."  Our kind of trek.

Just beyond Glade House we crossed our first suspension bridge which crossed the Clinton River.

Our track lead us into the Beech forest.  Here we saw a beech tree that was 800 years old. 

After a mile of tracking we came to the site of Quintin Mackinnon's first hut built in 1889.

From there we took a detour to an area known as the Wetland Walk.  Here we had to walk on a wooden path because everything in site was under a thin layer of water and very different looking shrubs and plants were growing here.

We walked for a few more miles where the trail was flat and wide and then we began to climb as we entered the west branch of the Clinton Valley.  It was called "The Valley of the Perpendicular" because of the rock walls which towered above us up to 4000 feet high.  This is the valley that we walked through - notice how U shaped it is - typical of valleys created by glaciers...

We continued through lush beech forest until we could see a huge landslide which fell in the early 80's, so large that it blocked the Clinton River and formed the lake around which the track now passes.  Here we found the 7 mile marker.  We loved finding those markers every mile.

We saw these beautiful fuschia trees which had peeling bark on them.  We were told that the peeling bark kept the moss from growing on it.  Look how wonderful they appeared...

Here's a typical beautiful site that we passed along the way...

And another...

In this movie, we wanted to capture for you a sense of the peaceful quiet that was the experience of much of the walk.  This is a composite of many different moments.  Be sure to turn your volume up so you can hear the Silence  (and the bird calls)...

Quietly Looking Around on the Milford Track

Here's a panorama shot we took of the view...

We stopped at the Hirere Falls Shelter for lunch.  Our guides were there with hot chocolate (Mindy's favorite), tea and coffee.  Off to the side we could see these majestic falls.

The curious and fearless Kea bird named Charlie was there to greet us and hoped that we would give him a bite of our lunch.

Here's a clip of a movie about Charlie...

Charlie the Kea Bird wants our lunch

The Kea Birds were amazingly 'aggressive' - they had almost no fear of people.  You could never leave a pack unattended in a place where Kea's were, because they were known to rip apart zippers and get right into your pack.  Even at the lodges, you couldn't leave your boots outside your door at night, but had to bring them into your room, because Keas were known to rip apart a leather boot even!

This next bird was called the "shoe-lace bird" because if you scuff the path, he comes right over and looks for grubs and worms right at your feet.  Sometimes he even comes and sits on your shoe, mistaking your shoelace for a worm.

More walking brought us to a clearing in the trees where we caught our first glimpse of the pass which Mackinnon and Mitchell crossed in 1888 opening up the Milford Track.

We were told that it was safe to drink the stream water as long as it was moving water.  It tasted so good.  Here I am filling our water bottles.

We continued past Hidden Lake where E-Pod bravely shed her clothes and went in for an icy dip.

This movie is well worth watching...

The Lady of the Lake

From here we made it to the Prairie, an open meadow where we could see the majesty of the ice carved Clinton Canyon. 
We walked and walked - past incredible vistas of permanent ice fields on the mountain tops and lovely views of waterfalls cascading down the mountains.

Much of our walk today looked like this...

We spent our 2nd night at the Pompolona Lodge very appreciative of the two hot water bottles that came with our room.  It was freezing that night!


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