Friday 3_2...Day One on the Milford Track... View the Slide-Show
With my new "solid gold" Tevas on...I ate a good breakfast and we made our way to town one more time. This time I was slow but not in too much pain. We finished our shopping and after re-packing again we headed off at noon to the DOC office to catch the bus for our Milford Track adventure. About half-way there I was in so much pain that I flagged down a couple of LOL in a large sedan and begged them for a ride the remaining 2 blocks to the office. Anna Marie was horrified when she saw me get into the strange car. Also she was worried that if I couldn't even walk 2 blocks...how on earth was I going to walk 33 miles? I must admit I too was a bit concerned. But I had my 30 pill emergency supply of Hydro-codone and Thank God is all I can say!
Our bus came at 1:15 and we rode to Te Anau Downs for the 2 pm boat trip across the Milford Sound. While we were waiting I changed into shorts and never put on my long pants again until the last day of our trip. Met some of the guided walkers...Pat & Patty and Sid. Explained my precarious situation to the guided walker guide, Tony and inquired about getting a ride the last day if my toe was still slowing me down. Evidently he was very apprehensive about my well being as he took Anna Marie aside when I was in the rest-room and told her she should insist that I turn back. "She can't do the track in those shoes!" he told her. She assured him that we would be fine and he just shook his head and walked away.
The weather was overcast and a fine drizzle began just as we disembarked. Upon arrival at Glade Wharf, all of our footwear was to be disinfected...no problem for those folks wearing their boots...but mine were at the bottom of my pack. Eventually we got started on our great adventure and my trusty Tevas...(with the help of a couple of pain pills) made good time on the well groomed 3 mile trail to Clinton Hut, our stop for the first night.
On the boat over we had chatted with a fun group of 7 gals from Dunedin. Vicki, Julie, Jane, Margaret, Enid, Mary and Terese were friends who took a holiday together once a year although not all of them were die hard hikers. We begged a bottom bunk reservation if possible from the "Rabbits" of the group and Julie was able to snag two safe beds for us every night...Thank You Julie!
For my very first dinner on the Milford I treated myself to mashed potatos, peas & carrots and corn and roasted pork. What a treat it was. However I tried to cut my meat in the warm pan and broke my fork. Since I had left my spoon at the first hostle I was in trouble...but Vicki loaned me silverware every evening...Thank You Vickie!
At 7:30 Hilda's sister Ruth, out Hut warden for the evening came in to brief us on the rules of the hut and the fire warnings. Since all of the huts are wooden structures and we were cooking with gas cookers...we were all very careful to listen and learn. By 8 pm all was quiet and 40 hikers were sound asleep.