Tuesday 2_27... Hike to Punga Cove...
Today we were up before 7 am...without the help of my alarm...and what a glorious day it turned out to be. We were on the trail by 8 am fortified by my great veggie omelet breakfast. There may have been hills to climb or ruts in the trail but we never noticed as our feet barely touched the trail today. We were floating... watching the ever changing cloud formations and the out-of-this-world scenery. We passed through many private property areas. The signs asked us politely to close the gate behind us. A grizzled old boar paid little attention to us as we took his picture. One property owner had an honor system store set up inside an old cabinet. We puzzled over the clear nail polish offered for sale..until the first sandfly made it presence known! They even had two walking sticks in their inventory.
Before we knew it Punga Cove Resort appeared around the corner. Immediately after lugging our belonging up the formidable hill, we immersed ourselves in the hot tub. It didn't take too long to relax and now of course we were hungry. For lunch, I cooked my potato soup...loaded with a large chunk of Colby cheese and visited with a group of folks whom we later found out were 3 brothers and their wives.
The guided walkers finally arrived and we all sat in the family room/kitchen and chatted for a couple of hours. Anna Marie went up the hill to a lookout but the weather was closing in and she was disappointed with the view. The family group stayed with us in the kitchen until after 10 pm. The wives were playing games and the men quizzed us about various US hiking areas. The youngest brother had just retired as a pilot with Air New Zealand. I told him how much we enjoyed our flight and the exquisite service. One of the brothers ran a peony farm and exported flowers all over the world. Another had just gone into a candy business with his son and offered us their new fudge product. It was great! Hilda, one of the wives asked us if we would be hiking the Milford Track and we said yes. "Tell my sister I said hello!" she said. And as it turned out her sister Ruth was our Hut warden our first night on the Milford. We said hello! Finally at 10:30 we all said good night and went to our fantail cabin.