Our first exploration on the South Island was tramping a portion of the Queen Charlotte Track. Now there is some Kiwi lingo for you. Tramping is hiking, trails are tracks, and a walk in the woods or forest is a bush walk. Most people take 3-5 days to do the whole track…tramping several miles a day and camping or staying in backcountry huts with bunk beds and strangers. This does not appeal to us in any way, shape, or form. However, taking a boat to a portion of the trail, hiking all day, and returning to a lovely hotel room with a hot shower, a flushing toilet, and a good mattress does appeal to us! The “huts” do not offer any of these luxuries… Plus, after a long day of hiking, we don’t want to eat venison jerky and peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. We want a piping hot bowl of homemade seafood chowder and warm ciabatta bread from a restaurant in Picton’s harbor!

Your chariot awaits, m’lady! Well, maybe not a chariot, but our ride out to our Queen Charlotte trailhead.
This was our boat captain, named Fran! Now we know two Frans. One François, one Francis. Clay thinks female boat captains are super hot. And females driving motorcycles. And females flying planes. Or anything a male typically does. Guess I need to head outside and start chopping some wood, eh?
Sun+Mountains+Ocean=Happy.
Pretending like I’m the lookout in the crow’s nest of a ship spotting land off in the distance. “Land! Land I tell you, land!”
About halfway through our trek, Clay worked up some wicked blisters. We didn’t have band-aids, but I of course had my hand sanitizing wipes, so I ripped one in half and Clay attempted to craft a barrier to keep his Chaco straps from digging into his raw skin. They look hilarious to me. And they did not work at all. But he left them on the whole time. We named them his toe bows.
Hobbit feet + toe bows.
Notice he doesn’t look super happy. I had just stuffed one more of those bottles of water into the side of his backpack, weighing him down just a wee bit more. He has just finished telling me in this pic, “I’m not your damn sherpa, Molly. If you try and stuff one more 1.5 liter bottle of water into my backpack so you can hike ‘hands free’…I swear, woman.” I think this song sums up his feelings about me.