Jared, I hope it is okay that I am posting your email as my blog entry for the day!
This is from Jared:
Some would say that Joel and I did the Queen Charlotte Track over the past three days. Looking back on it, I prefer to say the Queen Charlotte Track did us . . .
So Joel and I decided to backpack through the gorgeous bays, inlets, and sounds of the Marlborough region of the South Island. The track, a 3-5 day backpack, was 43 miles long!!!! Described by the locals as “cruisy” and “gentle”, Joel and I figured that three days would be more than enough time to enjoy this backpack. Let me tell you, it was anything but cruisy. I have to say, I’ve backpacked quite a bit in my day, and it turned out to be a very dificult track. All three days included tramping up and down, from ridge to bay and back. The first day, a 16 mile romp, and the second day, a 15 mile (but much more grueling) struggle, left us quite tired and sore. Today’s 12 mile stroll seemed like a walk in the park by comparison. The first night,we went to bed under clear skies with a weather report reading “very fine”. At 2:30am, the heavens opened up and it started pouring (or maybe we should say hell opened up on this one). We were prepared for weather in our little backpackers tent, but it doesn’t rain here like it does back home. The absolute deluge lasted until 7am, leaving us cold, soaking wet, and wondering what more could be thrown at us.
However, the views the trail afforded us were AMAZING! We would climb from mountain peak to moutain peak, having 360 degree views of the surrounding bays and mountain. Looking back on it, the trip was well worth the struggles we encountered and was quite fun. We’re both really glad we went on it.
Tonight calls for a long, hot shower, some reading, and quitea bit of sleep. The near future should include some kayaking on the Abel Tasman and some day hiking at Nelson Lakes National Park.