Considering i don’t like carrying F.A and I also like beds i have choosen to do just that and sleep in beds. First night accomodation is the ‘Furneaux Lodge’ p.s I’m not splurging. A hiker bed is only $65 and i still get to use the spa bath and giant soft towels.
Work finshed at 1630 on Friday and i got on the Courgar Line boat to Ship Cove at 10am. Ship Cove is where Ol Mate Captain Cooksta brought that boat, the Resolution to, when he was exploring these parts for the first time and trading with the natives. The Cougar Line was rather busy with touristas being dropped off at the various hotels, lodges and camps along the track. The track is serviced and suitable for families and those who don’t like roughing it, with restaurants, hotels, lodges and camping abundance. It’ s also good track if you don’t like/ can’t be carrying anything as the boat can drop your bag off at the hotel AND then pick it up again the next day and take it to the next location! A walker is able to do that with camping gear also, you don’t have to be hotel lizarding to make use of the arrangements.
After the boat lets the passengers off at Ship Cove, I don’t even faf around with a photo at the Captain Cook monument, i just set up my walking poles, put my little lunch bag on and start powering up the first hill. I have a deep desire to burn the stresses of the work year out of me, just a bit of sweat and huffing and puffing and i’ll feel better soon. I still feel irritated from work and have hardly let the office go, my mind is still whirring with conversations I am having in my head with people who aren’t even there and all the unfinished tasks and projects. I’m not an easy switcher offerer, but I’m getting better and I know a long-walk is going to help. The walk from Ship Cove to Furneax is 17km, I contemplate on the disapprenaces of the Ben Smart & Oliva Hope, floating in and out of my head, with the office thoughts, and physically feeling the heat. How has that not been solved yet? How were they never found ?
I arrive at the Lodge around 3pm, people are relaxing and getting drunk on the lawn. I feel quite insular today and not bothered to involve myself with noise and social astmosphere, I check into my room and sleep for the afternoon, early evening dozing, read the book I have “When Breath Becomes Air” and sleep some more. I don’t have the energy for the reastaurant for dinner either so eat a sandwhich & tuna snack with peppermint tea, it’s lights out and i’m asleep again, although the bed is a broken marshmellow so I pull the matress onto the floor, ahhh that’s better and sleep again till 6:20am – the weekday wake up time. Todays walk is only 12km to Punga Lodge, i’ve got loads of time to F. around eating breakfast and drinking coffee, although i’m ready to burn some more heat off and am out the door by 8:30am.
Punga Cove – Day 2
Punga Cove is a New Zealand version of a Fiji resort, and as it’s 3 days before Christmas it’s busy with famllies. Unfortunatley I get there way to early to check in, 11:45am. The track from Furneaux has been non-descript and busy, a couple of sprained ankles, a lot of overly dressed people in exsessive tramping garb and heavy boots. I am essentially wearing running clothes (t-shirt/running shorts/visor/trail shoes/sports sunglassess) a couple of people ask me if I am running the track. Hell to the NO! But it’s interesting the assumptions that can be made by the look of an outfit.
I ask the receptionist what time the room will be ready, she gives me the standard ambiguious answer. “I’m not sure how long it will take, shouldn’t be too long, but i’m not sure, definatley by 3pm” – (the actual time to check in). That’s Ok, I say, I’ll go and get lunch in the cafe OK (in a sing-song voice)
“Hi, can I see the lunch menu?” Sorry the cafe isn’t serving food till 1230pm” OK, i’ll have a Coke please. I take the Coke and take up a sun lounger on the foreshore and eat the sandwich that I have left over in my bag. A NZ style Fiji resort doesn’t quite have the service I was hopping for. I fall asleep on the sun lounger, get burnt, wake up and get hot chips from the now pumping cafe. It’s about 2pm, the cafe/bar is pumping, people arriving and leaving on jet skis, taxi boats and private boats dropping people off at the warfs. I check into my room, i’m still not feeling the socialising vibe and mostly hide out reading my book, drinking LLB. On my final LLB run of the night i leave my f.n wallet on the foreshore. It’s a bit of a drama, but I get it back. I don’t make use of the swimming pool or the spa baths, the bed is rather more comfortable than Furneax and the mattress stays on the bed all night. I finish reading my book and put it on the ”shit books that people leave at backpackers shelf”, except it’s not shit, it’s about at 37 year old nuerosurgeon/ nureoscientest who dies of cancer, it’s an autobiography of his life, he writes about going from doctor to paitent and then the life is taken out of him, his wife writes the second part of what it was like for her, they have a young daugther too. “When Breath Becomes Air”. I hope the next person to pick it up finds it as profound as I did.