Following All of the Rules (Part One) – Post Office Point Camp

“On a Mish” #297 Following all of the Rules – Part One. Post Office Point. Fiordland National Park. 2.9.2021. As far as I could tell, I was following all of the Level 3 guidelines while on this mish. If I got it wrong or misread anything well I am very sorry to those who write the rules, and I am positive I had no effect on any other New Zealanders in the ‘team of 5 million’. When the mish is calling you must go answer…

We have been very lucky in Aotearoa to have only been put into a lockdown situation a couple of times. Our little isolated group of islands has been a remote blessing during the global pandemic. Life in the South Pacific did have its interruptions, but absolutely nothing when compared with the rest of the world.

With tourism grinding to a halt there wasn’t much work (none) for a guide in Te Anau. I was also in the position of being in a social bubble of just myself. It is strange how I can go for days in the wild without seeing another soul but being stuck by myself in civilization was quite hard to handle. With modern technology my whanau and friends are only a few clicks away. I had to rely on the world wide web for any connection with other human beings.

Flying solo during Level 4 did wonders for my garden, but there are only so many times that you can run a rake through soil or vacuum / clean / sort out your house!

With the changing of levels from the highest of all the levels, 4 to a slightly less annoying / less rules level 3. At level 3 we had a little bit more freedom and the chance to stretch the legs on the many excellent hiking trails around Te Anau.

The rules were: No backcountry tramping. No using DoC facilities. No going into places difficult for Search & Rescue to get to like the backcountry. With the rules set, I had to think of an adventure within these parameters.

Lake Manapouri from Post Office Point

After pondering on a location for a while I finally got an idea from a recent mish. Not long after my return to Te Anau after my hip injury my southern brothers converged and paid me a visit to see how I was getting on. After an excellent evening together we planned for a mission the next day. Together we hiked (I limped slowly) to Post Office Point on the eastern shores of Lake Manapouri. The track out to the historic location was cut by a group of keen Manapourians, and can be accessed from either Manapouri Village or from the road to Supply Bay. Being only a 30 minute or so walk meant it fit the level 3 requirements, and as it is so close to Manapouri it is far from a ‘Backcountry Hike’ and also wasn’t using any DoC facilities.

For someone who has spent a huge chunk of the last 15 years sleeping in a tent, camping is not only a favourite pastime, it is something I do every couple of weeks at the very least. I knew the benefits would be massive, even if I had to put up with some pain in order to enjoy them.

Now that I had a plan, I needed the weather to play ball and give me some still air and clear skies. We had been in level 3 a couple of days before the weather seemed just right. Playing the waiting game sucks but if waiting is the difference between staying dry or getting soaked, then I’ll reluctantly keep myself on the playing field of boredom.

Finally the sun began to shine through the clouds and this was what I was waiting for. Mish time!

On the way I purchased a new gas cylinder and some food from the supermarket, and instead of immediately stashing it into my pack, I just threw it onto the back seat of my car.

Have you ever had a situation when the organised part of your brain tells you to “sort something out now or you will regret it”, but the “go go go it’s mission time” part of your brain says “sort it out later”?!

I got to the start of the track and with perfect weather I was ready to follow all of the rules and still do something very epic. From here the rest was up to me and my tolerance to discomfort. That’s the only thing I have to be worried about right?

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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