Queen Charlotte Track – Day 3 – Punga Cove to Portage Bay

Monday 1st May
As the day started early for our longer walking day, we got going about 8.30am. A little later than we hoped but no deadline today. We hoped the shorter day yesterday would aid our little hiccups in our body and that the 3 days previous had been a good build up to the bigger day. The first 30 minutes of the walk was up 230m in altitude and over 2km distance. DB will work out the angle we climbed and I will let you know. It was a tough heart starter to the day. It was a great day for hiking, cool but sunny. We took many beautiful photos of the little coves, the sound and farmland. The track was less muddy clay and much smoother than yesterday. We hiked through bush like at home as well as a little bit of rainforest. We were too high for waterfalls today as most of the hike was at the top along the ridge line. It would have been okay for mountain bikers today although a bit slippery for them in some spots. DB had his first spill today with a slide out. No injury though. Luckily as we had only been going for about an hour.

We were met by a DOC ranger in his quad bike at about 10.30am coming from Portage Bay who was checking the track for land slides and fallen trees. He hadn’t seen anyone else on the track today. Again it seems we have it all to ourselves. Just the way we like it.

We saw quite a few animals today – a large snail and bug, goats, birds and the famous weka. It appears that the weka are always hanging around the campsites or lunch spots, near chairs at lookouts. They are just like the brush turkey. Scavengers.

Now, food for thought. What do a couple of 25 years talk about on an eight hour hike after they have been together 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the last three weeks. Well here are a few of the topics we discussed.

Altitude and the effects on your breathing, ear canals, chip packets, which led to climbing Mt Everest and heading to Nepal.

The reason for enjoying hiking – was it the views, scenery, different vegetation, animals or the challenge.

Life speculation – Would we be doing this sort of thing had we not met each other? DB not a speculator would prefer to just think about what we can do now. Me – I can speculate and believe without someone’s encouragement I would probably be playing tennis, working and just hanging around the Central Coast. A bit chicken to explore.

They were just a few things – tomorrow we need to start planning our next hike because I think this has just been the start of our hiking adventures.

We saw a couple of birds, one DB nicknamed R2D2 (click here to hear the song of the Tui ) as it had an unusual sound which was quite unique.

We finally arrived at out destination – Portage Bay Hotel at about 3.30pm with time to have a relax with my book and a cup of tea in the sunshine. A beautiful day yet again.

Our room was lovely. Beingthe only guests at the hotel it was difficult enough to tell them we didn’t need breakfast, let alone tell them we would not need dinner. So dine in style again we did. We had our dinner inthe lounge with a lovely warm open fire, served by our personal waiter. The meal was amazing yet again – Calamari squid, Chicken Mushroon Pasta & Canterbury Lamb with Roasted Vegetables, Creme Brulee. Yummy!!

Today’s Stats: Distance 23.88km, time 7:11hours, Ascent 753m, highest alt 479m