Participants: Nixie Boddy, Katie Bowron, Simon Litchwark, Roseanna Gamlen-Greene, Sam Stephenson, Enda Walsh, Tom Moore, Kate Wootton
Dates: 28th December – 6th January
Author: Kate Wootton
Once there were 8 trampers brave
A New Year’s adventure they did crave
And so they chose the Dusky Track
– for choosing wet trips they had a knack
Armed with drybags, pack-covers and pack liners
And food enough for a horde of miners
They took a boat across Lake Hauroko
Bravely into the wilderness they did go!
On day one the sun shone bright
And they took a swim in its hot light
Roseanna stopped to play tin whistle
A blue duck swam by with an air of dismissal
Just when they thought the forecast was wrong
And the sun might shine the whole trip long
A peal of thunder cracked the sky
And that was the end of being dry
They thought the hut couldn’t be far,
A sign said ten minutes, hurrah!
But then they found so much tree-fall
It took them 5 times that to get there at all
The next day they headed up to Lake Roe
They fell often in mud up to their elbow
Enda claimed it would get better up higher
But instead the situation simply got dire
Finally they reached the tops
The views had pulled out all the stops
Lakes and rivers and craggy peaks
Shone through the rain with an air of mystique
Back in the hut their muscles were sore
So they did some stretching on the floor
Nixie taught Enda how to sew
And the weather forecast promised snow
Snow it did, but only up high
And for once the morning was almost dry!
They climbed on up to see the lake
Must have been a hundred photos they did take!
Half that day was glorious views
And they’d still be there if they could choose
But the trail lead them steeply down the slope
Of reaching the bottom they nearly lost hope
They were afraid the river would be too high
And they’d have to stay the night in a shelter nearby
But the water was only up to their waist
So across and to the hut they raced
All that night they heard the rain
And wondered if they’d have to stay the night again
But next morning the sun was found
So they made their way to Dusky Sound
The lake was high and their feet were wet
But they hadn’t had to swim as yet
The three wire bridges were fun to cross
And the forest simply dripped in moss
At last, hurrah! they reached the sound
The sun came out, the sight was profound
The sea at their feet was crystal clear
And the mountain cliffs rose immense and sheer
So happy they were to be out of the trees
That they walked in the water up to their knees
They’d nearly made it to the hut
When they had to swim somewhat
That night they celebrated New Year’s Eve
Simon brought wine, would you believe!
Roseanna brought whistles to toot,
They made so much noise, it was quite a hoot!
They spent two nights at Supper Cove
Fishing then drying in front of the stove
Team Estrogen caught 8 cod, the pros
And a big shark came by to nibble their toes!
The next day was the wettest they’d ever had
The lake had risen – just a tad
Where two days before it was up to their hips,
It had now risen well over their lips!
The track was so flooded it was quite surreal,
Katie even managed to step on an eel!
Being wet so long caused chafe so severe
That some went with no pants before the hut was near
To keep entertained on wet evenings indoors
They sang songs and played games like sock wars
The competition was pretty tough
Enda nearly lost his teeth it got so rough!
You might have thought, with 8 days on their feet,
that dehy and muesli’d be all that they’d eat.
but no! The fresh dishes they cooked were simply devine,
Tom had a tomato for lunch on day nine!
Their extra day meant Simon had to get back,
So he left early to race ahead on the track.
He left Kintail at dawn and raced up the pass,
He made the next hut before the rest left the last!
Although food was abundant, toilet paper was not.
Soon food cartons and magazines were all that they’d got
Day 9 while discussing their plight, Sam said hey!
I’ve got two whole rolls, why didn’t you say??
After all their adventures and the miles they strode,
The reached the end and found a road
A bus came by full of tourists all clean
While those trampers stood there smelling obscene
The bus wouldn’t stop – I can’t think why,
So they had to walk, but their spirits were high,
(Especially Roseanna when Sam carried her pack)
And then there they were, it was the end of the track!
They were in time for the boat but it didn’t have spaces
So while they were waiting they fed their faces
Enda cooked in the toilets for sandfly exclusion
Much to unknowing (and clean) tourists’ confusion
It was weird on the boat with people all round
As they sped away from Dusky Sound
But the promise of free coffee and tea
Made them all dance with glee
And so that is the story of the Dusky track
And now we’re all wishing that we could go back
So thanks for a trip I’ll never forget
Maybe next time we’ll go somewhere a little less wet?!
One thought on “Swimming the Dusky”
Great to read about your wonderful adventure. Love the pictures !