About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lady and the Tramp

.....and the Man and the Tramp.  ("tramp" is kiwi speak for "hike").

Cindi tends to tramp blistered feet
For the past month or so the (Dirt) Bravo team has been tramping up a storm down here on NZ's south island!  Tramping, horseback riding, kayaking, it's been a great trip so far.

Moonrise from the Hawken beach bach in Waiwera

Most of the bags were gone by the time we arrived in Picton!!!
Since leaving Whangarei, we've put over 3,500 km on D.B., first stop visiting friends Gray and Carolyn in Waiwera, then down to Wellington to catch a rough ferry crossing over to Picton.

A bit of a close meeting in Marlborough sound

 The drive south was beautiful, a nice mix of coastal and inland road.

Driving toward Mt. Cook, storm clouds brewing

Mt Cook, before the storm hit.  That's Dirt Bravo on the right
Mt Cook was blowing a stormy gale the night we camped there, and the forecast didn't look to sweet for tramping the following day, so we boogied south toward Queenstown.

 Time lapse of Mt. Cook evening storm

Sheep dog working his flock above Moke Lake

Campground host at Moke Lake.  Between arrivals he used his motorcycle to herd (harass??) sheep.

DOC camp at Moke Lake.......the big boys and their land toys!

In Queenstown, we met up with Seattle friends Rich and Laura at the airport and went to pick up their camper van rental.

What the Porta Loo lacked in privacy it made up for with the view!!!
Worked out great, except their "self contained" rental had no toilet!!!  Go figure....booked it online, as the saying goes, "the big print giveth, the small print taketh away!!!  No worries, a quick stop at a local hunting/fishing shop had them right as rain!!!

First tramp was the beginning section of the Routeburn track, one of the most famous of NZ's nine "Great Walks".  We drove up to Glenorchy and hiked up past the first hut, at the Flats, to the Falls Hut.  Spectacular mountain and river scenery, and a plush trail and huts.  Takes several months for sleeping hut reservations, which just isn't the way the Bravo's travel, but we got to experience much of the Walk by this long day hike, w/o carrying heavy packs.....sweet as!

Some pix from the Routeburn:

Routeburn Flats hut - sweet lunch stop

Cindi makes her way gingerly across a log bridge as Adam holds it steady!!!

Cindi and "Seth" clearly hit it off from the start!!!
Rich is a "Lord of the Rings" fan, and Laura has a couple of horses back home, so we decided to hire some trusty steeds and head into the L-o-t-R country above Glenorchy.  The riding was fun, and the day was beautiful indeed.....not a bad way to travel!

Texting and driving, a no-no, while a jet boat passes by on the lake in the background....not quite a scene from the movie!!!

The 5 Musketeers !!!
Before leaving Queenstown, we stopped for a pit stop at Arrowtown, an early 1800's gold rush mining town.  While much has been reconstructed as it once was, it's pretty touristy.  The most interesting part was the Chinese camp, where a group of Chinese gold miners who were here seeking their fortunes lived isolated from the other miners.

Chinese camp today, shown above, is pretty much as it's always been

If doors could talk.....lots of stories here

Next up was an exploration of the Lake Wanaka area, about an hour away from Queenstown.  Also surrounded by mountains, the region has some fantastic tramping.  Hard to go wrong on a beautiful sunny day!  Even the drive over was beautiful.

Tramping up at Diamond Lake

First up was a hike up to the Rob Roy glacier.  A great tramp with heaps of "bang for the buck".  Highly recommended!

Gratuitous "sheep shot".....Hey, it's New Zealand, fer chrissakes!!!

Foot bridge marks the start of the tramp up to the Rob Roy amphitheatre

After leaving Rich and Laura to head back up toward Christchurch, we pointed Dirt Bravo toward Fjordland, home of the famous Milford and Doubtful Sounds.  Like most of the area, the drive was beautiful, making its winding way from the sheep and cattle stations around Lake Te Anau up to the mountains of the "Southern Alps". 

We did a great tramp up to Key Summit, which had terrific views into the Milford Sound area which was to follow.  Coincidentally the hike started on the other end of the Routeburn Track, which we'd hiked at the other end the week before!!!

Milford Sound is a rainforest region.  They get over 7 meters (almost 280 inches!!)  of rain each year.  "Rainy" Seattle gets about 36 inches!!!   When raining, the walls above the road are alive with waterfalls everywhere!

We'll leave off here, and save the Milford Sound explorations for the next post.....stay tuned!  Until then, cheers, mates, from Queenstown!  The sun just came out...time for another tramp !!!!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome photos mates! Bringing back great memories from our tour last summer. No mention of the Sandflies, so hoping this means you've found an antidote to the little bast***s! Enjoy the next leg of the trip. G&D xx