31 March 2010

Posting from Paradise

Dear readers
We are about to start Day 2 of our glorious, magnificent walk in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand.  I don't know how I can even begin to describe for you the sensational beauty of this place.  I can't upload any photos yet, despite having taken about 150 in the last 36 hours.  The magnificence of this place is beyond description really, though I suspect John Steinbeck would have no trouble.  Crossing Cook Strait was great.  We were very lucky to have a calm sea and a sunny sky.  We saw albatross, seals and hundreds of dolphins frolicking in the bow waves and all around the ship.  I've never seen such a huge pod of dolphins at once.  It was sensational, as you can imagine!  We're so glad the crossing was calm because apparently it can get quite hairy and in Picton, at our backpackers accommdation, we saw a photo of the same ship listing to 48 degrees!!  It made my hair stand on end, literally! 
The Marlborough Sounds are truly spectacular.  The water is like a crystal clear seam of emerald and the mountains and hills fall gently down to meet it in quiet little bays with tiny colourful baches scattered abuot.  A bach (pronounced "batch") is a NZ holiday cottage and oh, how blissfully perfect they look!  How I'd love to run away to one and write a best-seller! 
Yesterday was Day One of our Queen Charlotte Track walk and after landing at Ship Cove (where Captain Cook landed 5 times), the track was immediately straight up, up, up!  What a rude shock!  However, in no time at all the pain of our leg muscles disappeared as we came upon one magnificent view after another until our eyes were HURTING with the beauty (is that dramatic enough??)  We found a wee block of land for sale, if anyone is interested?!  We walked 15kms today and are now at Furneux Lodge (more magnificent views - ho hum) and walking another 12 kms today.  We all feel fantastic so far but tomorrow is our BIG day of 23kms.  I will try to write again when I can. I am using a machine in the lodge into which I've put my last $2 coin (the other $2 coin was for my hot shower).  I might get cut off any time!  I wish you were all here because it is impossible not to be awed by the wild beauty of this place.  I am so lucky... xxxx

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