Saturday, 15 April 2017
After pretty awesome track conditions the whole way, the last kilometre had recent track work which had turned into mud - a bit annoying after keeping relatively clean (if wet) boots for the previous 53k! The track had mile markers so we always knew how far we'd come each day. Below is Zali and Jett celebrating the last mile marker of the trip!
We were last to leave the hut but we made it to the jetty with almost an hour to spare before our 3pm booking. That gave Andy time for one last swim, and the rest of us time to get changed into our last dry items of clothing, ready to walk straight from the wharf at Milford Sound to Milford Sound Lodge, where we had all booked rooms for the night.
Now I must mention that we’d all seen the website for the lodge, and we all booked directly with them, and we ALL thought that the lodge would be right on the waterfront and we’d just stroll over to it from the jetty.
Sadly for us that turned out to not be the case, and in quite an ignominious ending to our fantastic journey, we found ourselves walking almost two kilometres down the road in driving rain and not very safe walking conditions (i.e there was no pavement). So of course our dry gear got wet again. This is Jett, walking the last few hundred metres - notice he's carrying his hiking boots..actually Zali and Jett took this final inconvenience a lot better than all of us grownups - I guess they are used to being forced to walk miles in inclement conditions by their parents - what was another 2k going to matter!!
The only people to avoid this miserable finish was Lyra and Alexa, as Lyra was adamant that she wasn’t walking another step, forcing Alexa to do the smart thing (which we should have done), and investigate alternative options - like the shuttle which we could have used instead. dang. Nevertheless, despite the lodge not living up to our expectations (in more ways than just the location), we had a nice dinner together in the restaurant and a good night’s sleep with tired legs and satisfied souls (and sore toes in Clare’s case, sore knees in Dani’s case).