Ruth was over climbing and biking so as our southern “swan song” we decided to spend a day kayaking around Mahau Sound, our last destination in the South Island.

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We did a little land based recon before we headed out to sea, by walking over part of the Queen Charlotte track that we had walked back in 2011.

The usual questions came up; how far? how long? how hard? For the first time on our trip I could put my hand on my heart and say “no hills”. But that does not make it any easier, tidal currents and wind can be just as sinister as hills.

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No hills out here Ruth!

Our arms were not conditioned to this new activity, well, new in the sense that we have not been in a kayak for a long time. We did expect the worst and fully expected to be walking around like stiff-armed robots the next day. However, we surprised ourselves. After a long drag around the the inner sound I pointed across the widest point and said to Ruth let’s do it. She responded in the affirmative and we set out across a rather large expanse of water that took far longer to cross than we anticipated. Fortunately, the weather obliged and the wind stayed away. Our crossing was uneventful.

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I gave the GoPro a rare outing given the likelihood of any camera receiving a dunking. By staying still and letting the Kayak drift in I was able to get a close-up of these Shags who were hitching a ride on a piece of driftwood.

After four hours the legs were starting to get a little cramped and the arms were starting to tire and we were not unhappy to see the beach in front of the airbnb come into sight.

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Ruth leaves me in her wake.

After over 7,000km we have finally crossed Cook Strait back to the North Island, another 1,000 km should have us back in Kerikeri. We hope to walk the Tongariro Crossing on the way but the weather bosses seem to have other plans that, in keeping with most of the trip, indicate that we should be rummaging through our “plan b” options, yet again.

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Ruth heads in for lunch after our ambitious crossing from the far shore.
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Back on land we found a great vantage point to take in the grandeur of the Marlborough Sounds.

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