So we have done the Milford Cruise seen the sharks there abouts and got the badges to prove we had been there. What next? All those back country huts to be explored, multi day tramps in remote back country; all these fantastic suggestions were met with a resounding no. I felt a bit deflated that even my good wife would not want to tramp again (yet). I heard talk of an old camp once used by the road builders up towards the Hollyford trail. It now had a museum dedicated to the memory of Davey Gunn and a few of the huts could be used for staying in. We set off back up the Milford road.
The camp was a delight, we could camp but are getting soft and decided to stay in one of the old ‘family’ huts. Apparently Davey was a bit of a character; in the vein of people that sound really interesting but I bet that if you did meet them would have been a right pain in the butt to have got along with. His camp was full of quirks and that amused us. I liked the ticking atom bomb, said to go off if you used too much hot water up when having a shower. (The water was heated by a wood burner so you had to put a couple of logs on the fire to get the water to a good temperature.)
What really made the camp was the great communal area. It had that busy ‘youthy’ feel. A bunch of guys were there on their away stay, they got 10 days; I was quite jealous. They were holed up waiting for some rain to fill the river enough so they could go down the river for some fishing. In the meantime they had a birthday to celebrate, and we (Angela and I) were introduced to Glarva, or was it Clarva, anyway a fun evening was had by all.
We have managed a couple of day walks based from the camp; one up to Key point and the other to Lake M… can’t remember which female name beginning with m it was… Marion(?) . We went up to the point first and I was pleased we packed the warm stuff as by the time we had got to the top we were all putting on the extra layers. The wind was starting to pick up. Luckily it didn’t interfere with the view and we had a great geography lesson on the features of a glacial landscape. Okay I did, you could see all those bits that you were taught about in high school geography. I even spotted a hanging valley with an arête thrown in on the top. Also visible was the fault line that runs through the area. Apparently it is the same fault that wrecked Christchurch. Anyway as you can imagine it was all very exciting, topped off by tree ferns and very wild beech woods I had a good day. I even offered an extra loop to extend the walk, everyone followed Angela and I was left to marvel at the flora and fauna myself.
We managed on more walk the next day – up to the lake, before the weather closed in. The boating party was happy, but with the weather set to rain for the next few days we decided to head to the drier area around Mt. Aspiring, and maybe Rob Roy Glacier.