Following All of the Rules – Part One

“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 Jacinda and I am positive I had no effect on any other New Zealander in the team of 5 million. 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 blessing during the global pandemic. Life has had 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 also was in the position of being in a bubble by myself. With modern technology my whanau and friends are only a few clicks away, and I have never had much trouble spending time with me and myself…

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 4 to 3, we had a little bit more freedom and the chance to stretch our legs on the hiking trails around Te Anau. The rules were: No back country tramping. No using DoC facilities. No going into places difficult for Search & Rescue to get to. With the rules set, I had to think of an adventure within these parameters. After 13 months away recovering from my hip injury I returned to my home in Te Anau, and was very happy to be back in the south. Not long after my return my southern brothers paid me a visit, and 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 MUST do every couple of weeks at the very least. Now that I had a plan, I needed the weather to play ball. We had been in level 3 a couple of days before the weather seemed just right, so I gathered my gear and headed for Lake Manapouri.

Lake Manapouri from Post Office Point

On the way I purchased a new gas cylinder and some food from the supermarket, and instead of immediately putting 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 put feet forward so quickly gathered my gear and began my hike towards Post Office Point. I immediately came across a freshly skinned possum carcass which showed that others have had the need to get into the outdoors just like me. The 30 minutes for able-bodied people not carrying big packs became just under an hour’s slow careful travel, and upon arriving at the lake I instantly knew I had made an excellent choice taking my solo bubble for a mish…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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