First trip of season

It November 6th, and I am home, in Auckland that is. Taking a week off to catch up with family and rest.

While I managed to blog on my cell phone while on the training trip. Did not happen on my first actual, with clients walking trip.

So with the benefit of a natural keyboard, my super quick pc, I will go back to Nov 1st as much as I can remember it.

So, what I failed to mention in below post is we were late leaving Queenstown due to road closures. We got to our boat at Te Anau Downs a little late, and headed to Glade House wharf.

This is my first group, and from the start they were a great bunch. Pretty safe to say a incredibly varied group, from multiple countries.

After a group photo we settled into the evening routine, myself and the other guides changed showered, ate our dinner, and got ready for the evening meal service. Part of the role as guides is to serve the guests their meals. Many reasons for this, which I won’t go into, but to say the least, the walkers love it.

The food is top notch for both the walkers and staff. We are feed well. Dinner done, an evening briefing and bed.

The walk the next day to the second lodge was straight forward. I was back guide for this, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

That afternoon, after arriving at Pompolona House, a chopper flew in for doc and removed bridges form a nearby stream. This was not a good omen, and the promised rain fell most of the night, heard a rock-slide/avalanche some time around 5.20 am.

Because of the risk factors involved, the operators of the hike had some hard decisions to make. We four guides get to enjoy the walk and meet interesting people, but behind the scenes a slick operation is in place making all the tough calls.

Evening dinner service went well, again we ate very well. An evening briefing for walkers and bed. They were in for a treat next day.

Because of the danger presented with the rain, we could not proceed without a little help.  The walkers were briefed at breakfast, and about 2 hours later we where ferrying our 50 hikers and 4 guides the approximately 3 kms from Pompolona Lodge to the Mintaro Hut (Doc) in a helicopter, so much fun, loved by almost all.

The climb over the pass was great but very cold. I arrived at Pass Hut shaking with cold, but that is part of the job, and very quickly I changed into warm gear, was feed, rested and ready to go. The conditions for the afternoon where strong winds and rain, and on several occasions I found my self standing in flooded streams assisting walkers.

I absolutely loved it, for some reason the words to “No Rain” by Blind Melon came to mind and I am singing (loose description) this song at the top of my voice while I waited next to the stream for walkers. It was so cool to be out there, pushed to perform professionally in a challenging environment, I have not often been happier.

As is a case of rinse and repeat, dinner, briefing and bed at Quinton lodge. Next day was wet, but no where near as much rain.

Final day sees us walking under the watchful eye of Mt Ada, covered in snow, and looking awesome.

Dinner at Mitre peak lodge in Milford Sound, a visit to the glow worms, and bed.

Then it is a pleasant drive back to Te Anau and then Queenstown.

Final Comments: I had the greatest 5 days ever in terms of a job. I am happy to be out and home, but can’t wait to go back. I think this is going to be the best 6 months of my life for the longest while.

Thanks for reading. New update soon. And I promise photos, I need to get software on my phone sorted, the only image software I have either reduces the photos to 3 mb, which is beyond the 2 mg limit of blog, or too small to be much use (see earlier post). So hopefully I will get this sorted in the next few days. But I have some great photos to share.


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