Savaged by Sandflies (Part Two) – Borland Rock Bivouac

“On a Mish” #128 Savaged by Sandflies (Part Two). Borland Rock Bivouac. Fiordland National Park. 15.11.2013. There are many places throughout the South Island of Aotearoa where you would love to kick back, look up at the mountains and enjoy the scenery without moving your feet. There are many streams which look just perfect for a swim, followed by lying in the sun as you dry. In a country lacking any big predators you would think you would be safe from animal attacks…

I was in the land of Te Namu and as much as I wanted to kick back and relax, I had to keep myself constantly busy as the evening rolled on. Every time I stopped moving I was attacked by swarms of hungry beasts that were relentless in their quest to drain my blood. Even though the evening was warm I had to stay completely covered up to avoid the bites. However, there would be some very persistent Namu that would find the thinnest piece of material to penetrate.

My time was a strange mix of collecting and cutting firewood, while doing my best to not overheat in the mild conditions.

Enjoying my dinner while pacing up and down is part of a true Fiordland experience. Well that’s what I kept telling myself!

The simple art of eating dinner becomes a full body workout as you are forced to shake the little devils off between each bite. Even while eating I was still adding to my step count for the day.

After dinner, to keep myself busy and bite free I sorted the firewood I had cut earlier into tidy piles. stacked big, medium and small, and also accompanied with a large collection of very little bits for kindling.

The Clear Water of the Borland Burn

The drizzle didn’t stick around long and soon the evening sky cleared and the moon began to shine through the trees as if someone had turned the intensity dial down on the sun.

The fact that it was night didn’t seem to bother my flying friends. With no wind in the air it wasn’t long before I was under a full scale attack and knew I had to do something about my situation. I was now very aware that I had a bed in my van that was safe from Te Namu and only two hours away.

So at about 10pm I decided I had had enough. The thought entered my head and very quickly I decided I want out of this itchy scenario. I quickly packed up, and then made my way back through the forest with the aid of the moonlight. At points on my journey I peered into the dark forest and wondered what was out there looking back at me?

Eventually I got back to the car park and arrived at my van at about midnight.

I was happy with my decision as I could finally relax knowing I was safe from the constant chomp of Te Namu. As I finally began to fall asleep I swear I could hear the sandflies tapping on the van’s windows looking for a way to get inside and continue their meal!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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