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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday 29 January 2023

Walks, waterfalls and ignorant bikers.

 January 28th

This photo taken last night at Cascade Creek. Lovely clear skies but no good for stars with that moon out.

It was chilly this morning, the sun hadn't yet reached us but blue skies overhead told of the scorcher today would become. Jumpers and long trousers worn for the first time in a while, we were going trekking to find the Humboldt falls and the series of waterfalls along the Lake Marian track.

Just a short journey back from Cascade Creek, the turn off was along the Hollyford Road and along a dirt track for about 17 km.

A cheeky New Zealand Robin greeted us on arrival. They appear as tame as our Robins back in the UK.

A 15-minute walk got us to the viewing platform, one of the better tracks we have been on but again an uphill climb.

Not quite what we had expected. More like those waterfalls seen coming from the mountains yesterday morning on that rainy day heading for Milford Sound. 

Slightly disappointing as the write-up told of impressive falls. The car park took less than 10 minutes walk to get back too but before heading off on our journey again Here you could see a swing bridge which was the start of the Hollyford tack. That bridge over the river looked inviting, it was a chance of another photo opportunity. A lovely lass came along and offered to take our photo. She and her mum were doing the Hidden Falls Hut trek and staying overnight. I was amazed when I met her mum, I would have said they were sisters not mum and daughter. Must be the New Zealand air quality. Keeps everyone young.

Drove back along that dirt track until we reached the sign for Miriam Lake. Gosh this place was heaving. The trek to the Lake was a good 1.5 hour uphill climb. Classed as an alpine lake in the hanging valley. Sounded wonderful and if it hadn't been for that continual climb, may have thought about giving it a go. Going up, no problem although no doubt I would have had to have a fair few 'get my breath back' stops. It's always about the descent for me though and 90 minutes of pain from that knee didn't appeal one bit. So instead we followed the track, crossing a swing bridge to another series of waterfalls. Now these were more impressive and more to our liking.

For this large trunk to be deposited on that rock, that river must have risen substantially. Maybe during the 2020 storms.

There had also been another swing bridge seen on our way back toward Marian Lake at Moraine Creek walk. Of course, we had to go and have a play. This one was not at all stable. In fact, I had difficulty in staying upright, not helped by Ian swinging that bridge at all, the rotter!

At the junction we very nearly turned right towards Te Anau but spur of the moment decision, go back to Homer Tunnel to see if we could see another Kea. The views today were amazing.

The traffic was moving as we approached the traffic lights to the tunnel but changed just as we got there. Oh, well it was only an eight-minute wait. No sign of Kea but look at the difference of the mountain face from yesterday morning. Now not a waterfall in sight.


Now bikers, can anyone tell me why they think they have the right to bypass a queue of traffic waiting for the signal, pull up alongside the front vehicle and then deliberately stop that vehicle from going ahead when the lights changed? 

This was the reason for that manoeuvre. To allow all his mates to get in front! Totally unacceptable in my opinion and rules of the road are to be followed no matter what. This lot also spread out and took all the car parking area once through the tunnel where many a vehicle stops to admire the view!

Rant over we headed off after them through the tunnel, turned around in the first lay-by and sat to wait for the Kea. Below were those bikers at the viewing spot.

 Well we waited for a good 15 minutes. Not a sign of a Kea, I was very lucky and glad to get that one yesterday. So back through the tunnel, we were in front this time.

And our last destination for today was Mirror Lake.

Hardly a breeze to move leaves on the journey to the lake but another of those disappointments, a slight wind was enough to cause ripples and hide that reflection, so it was not to be today. We had seen the reflections back in 2020. Then they were impressive indeed.

 These were the photos from 2020

Mirror Lake

Our stop overnight was at a Henry Creek, another DOC site. This time we did managed to book online. a very weak signal could be had from the top road, we were near enough to Te Anau to get the benefit.

And view heading toward Henry Creek.

And wildlife

Loads of cicadas again. They were on the swing bridge and bridge uprights.

This was a very big fly! Maybe a horse fly?

Evil looking and didn't fancy messing with that!

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