In 1770, during the course of circumnavigating the globe in search of a southern hemisphere, James Cook (a farm boy from Yorkshire) first landed in New Zealand at Ship Cove, which is where we begin the 77 kilometre Queen Charlotte Track. Many stories and legends have unfolded in this place long before James Cook arrived, and many have unfolded since.￼
The multi-kilometre uphills on the track are rewarded by stunning vistas overlooking picturesque coves. The trail then drops down into a bay, then up again to another breathtaking view, and down into another bay, and so on and so forth. By the fourth day when we look out across the sweep of hills and coves, we have no idea where we have been and have become a little immune to the exquisite scenery. The wide, level trail is too well-traveled for my taste, but the views are indeed beautiful!
After five weeks of walking, we pass our first people on the trail, and on an uphill to boot! The young 20-something couple are out of breath and pausing to rest. We just cruise on past like our knees are new, of course while trying to appear like we aren’t panting like a couple of worn out racehorses. We later find out that the girl is nursing six blisters. Oh well, we often feel positively geriatric and it was a nice moment (please don’t judge me that I think this is blog worthy).
Our relationship is now such that, in the dark of night, we share our fantasies. Gord’s fantasy is ice cream and bacon (or all meat for that matter)! Mine is Brie, crusty bread and olives. Bacon here costs between eight and nine bucks a pound so it will stay a fantasy. Good cheese is less expensive than home so we bought a kilogram of old cheddar. It was amazing (but made conquering the world of our digestion problematic)!
FYI – I though I heard wrong while standing in line behind someone at the grocery store buying cigarettes, so I confirmed. Yep – $37.00 a pack. Wild! If you are a smoker and want to quit, come to New Zealand.