We're in love with the Queen

 
 
Tuesday 16th january 2018
We spend a first day in Picton. The morning is dedicated to gathering information about the trail we'll start day after tomorrow. The trailhead can be reached only by boat so we need to book a water taxi.
Whem it's done, we join Ines, another French girl with who we started hiking the first days of our trail and that we met again for Christmas, and her friend for a drink on a terrace. 
17 days of food
The afternoon is dedicated to a large resupply. On the Southern Island, the places for resupply are scarce and we need to prepare 2 boxes of food that we'll send to ourselves in remote places. Heather drives us to Blenheim where there is a large and cheap supermarket and we buy everything we need for 17 days. On the way, we stop at a strawberry farm, where we can pick our own strawberries. This will be tonight's dessert. Yummy !
Our day ends with a friendly evening barbecue on the terrace with the whole family and the young italian exchange students that lives at Heather's place. We enjoy the positive energy of Zac, the 6 years old son of Heather and Ed, as well as the discussions around the table.
 
 
Wednesday 17th January 2018
 

Today's program is busy : packing our bags, sending our resupply boxes, writing the blog, making some light (36 grammes) campshoes (which allows me to leave my Teva sandals -650 grammes- here) and, last but not least, going to the restaurant for Ed's birthday. After a tasty dinner, we go back home and start playing cards together. Staying a few days with friends is always an heartwarming experience and we feel so priviledged to live these precious moments.


Thursday 18th - Sunday 21st January 2018 
Our ferry is leaving on Thursday afternoon, so we have the time to go to the hairdresser before that. After a nice lunch with Heather in picton, it's already time to say goodbye...
The next days, we'll hike the Queen Charlotte Track. It's a beautiful trail, that takes between 3 and 5 days to walk. The path is so good and steady that it can be walked by families and there are plenty of accomodations along the trail. It's a perfect track to hike if you visit New Zealand and want to walk a few days.
Our first afternoon on the trail was a little rainy but the 3 following days were great and we were able to enjoy the views on the nearby sounds.
We hike a lot with Jenny and we also meet a nice american guy whose trailname is Steady. He's from Oregon and has hiked multiple sections of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) in the US. He's a very nice person and we notice that he sincerely cares for the people around him. We camp at the same place as him every night during the trail and we really appreciate our discussions.

On Saturday, it's Jenny birthday and Florent is able to join her on the trail. We go down offtrail to an bar where we have a drink together. But Jenny is a sick, she caught a flu or something similar and she decides to stay there for the night, while we want to hike further.  We hope to see her again on the trail later.
Except if you're a kiwi, you probably never heard of wekas. Well, it's a bird, the size of a chicken, that doesn't fly. If I'm talking to you about wekas, it's because these animals are also thiefs, that would steal anything they can on the campgrounds. Better keep everything inside your tent, or they would take it away for a closer examination. From what we already saw or heard from fellow hikers, they steal shoes, gas stove, sunglasses, and many more... they even stole a swiss passport recently !
While we're hiking in the beautiful nature, we receive regularly news from Belgium. From here, it seems that belgian's goverment has choosen not to respect some basic human rights anymore. The recent deportation of sudanese migrants, the quotas of arrestations of refugees, the shamefull comportement or some ministers when they are asked to explain their decisions,... all that together is deeply unsettling.
What gives me hope is to see that so many of my friends are actively promoting and protecting human rights, trying to prevent further abuses. Let's hope we'll be able to avoid any further deterioration of the situation in Belgium... Let's hope we'll be able to use wisely the energy we get from this travel when we'll be back home.

 

Comments

  1. Ah, so sorry to have missed you! I see you passed right by our house :-( We are in The Pines, just past the Starquest boat photo you took. Where are you now? Cheers, Mathea

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mathea, so sorry too, we would have loved to meet you, but we didn't get your email and I had no answer to my reply giving you our phone number. Anyway, Queen Charlotte Track was absolutely amazing, we really enjoyed it. We're now in Haveloch and we'll start hiking Pelorus river and Richmond Range tomorrow. Thanks for being so welcoming and helpful for the TA hikers, we really appreciate. Best wishes :)

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