Stewart Island Travel Blog› entry 76 of 206 › view all entries
Up early again today and headed to Invercargill to catch an hour ferry to Stewart Island. Again the weather was a bit cold and rubbish and the crossing was again one of the worst crossings I've had. Fortunately I didn't get travel sick this time but it was pretty hard-going on the head and stomach losing it every 5 seconds or so.
At the hostel we'd been tipped off about an especially nice cottage so we were first in the queue and bagged ourselves a fantastic 3 bedroom cottage with our own kitchen, bathroom, washing machine (free!), lounge and TV. We had central heating, electric blankets, laundry racks, the works, it was heaven. We wanted to go fishing and catch ourselves some dinner but the fishermen was somewhat difficult to locate and we were eventually told his boat was out of action and we'd missed the chance. I would have been happy to curl up in our lovely living room on the sofa but the boys insisted we brave the murky weather outside and at least go for a walk. So we set off on a wander, chancing upon a sign down to the beach and deciding to follow it. Through the forest it eventually sloped down to a tiny, sandy bay which would have been lovely in warm weather. The tide was coming in but the boys insisted we climb over the rocks to the next bay, and then again over the rocks to the other side. I was somewhat freaked out, the water was dangerously high on the rocks already and I wasn't convinced we could get all the way round. They helped a squeaking me up the rocks and timed the waves so I could make a jump and a dash for it and finally we did make it back onto dry-ish ground, only to discover that the road we could see in the distance was separated from us by a body of water and quicksand. We tramped around in this up to our ankles, me cursing them for having got me into this predicament all the way and finally made it to some steps out of the bay. This then led us through a tiny, overgrown forest path with huge muddy swamps and billions of mosquitos and sand flies. Eventually we emerged, hot, sweaty and dirty back on the road where we agreed that that was quite enough off-roading for one day. So we followed some less over-grown tracks through forests and up hills for about an hour and a half before heading back to make our dinner!
As we'd been disappointed about the fishing we'd gone and bought a kilogram of fresh blue cod from the wharf and had marinated it in lemon juice, black pepper and garlic. We then boiled up some garlic potatoes and made a salad and had probably the best meal I have had since I've been travelling! We even had wine in real wine glasses, such a novelty after drinking goon from mugs and plastic cups for 2 months. We really could have stayed here for a week it was so nice! Some people went down to the wharf around 9pm to catch the penguins returning home, though I was happily esconced in a comfy chair soaking up the cosy central heating. But was eventually coaxed out of the warmth to go down to the Southside Hotel bar where everybodys' surname is Squires! where we had too many beers before heading back to our double bed bunks for the customary sweet oblivion.