Whistling to himself he started walking along the gravel road. Maybe another kilometer to where the track started. The long and wide Mavora valley lay before him. In the distance, at the end of the valley, he could see some snowcovered mountains. The mountains was quite big and looked intimidating, yet the valley floor looked flat and easily traversed. Eventually he’d have to leave the Mavora valley, but looking at the map told him that it was just going to be another long and flat valley.
On the side of the valley, a bit of fog was still hugging the forest on the slope. The top of the ridge above that looked really close somehow.
He closed his eyes and leaped, imagining himself appearing up on the ridge. He found himself exactly one leap from where he had stood. Of course, this wasn’t some childs fantasy but real life, yet he let the child out for some time and took some more leaps, imagining himself appearing in different parts of the valley.
The fact that he was in the mountains hiking again gave his face a big smile. He had been without the freedom it gave for too long. However, the heavy backpack prevented him from jumping with joy. He still had to work on that, having less and lighter stuff.
The Mavora walkway stretches from the Mavora lakes to lake Wakatipu. I spent one night in my tent next to one of the lakes before starting the hike. There was some exceptionally clear water with no wind during the evening. The resulting mirrorlike pictures are above. Unfortunately, no wind also meant an infestation of sandflies. I had a big fire going since they seem to dislike snow, the net result was that I was either coughing smoke from burned wood or getting eaten alive by the bloody flies.
The Mavora walkway is a three to four day hike, unfortunately the Wakatipu side is closed for lambing during spring, something I did not discover until I was halfway through the track. I spent an extra day reading in the last hut that was open, and then turned back the way I came from.
Even though I couldn’t walk the entire track, being up in the mountains again made my spirit feel alive. I was practically jumping of joy the whole way (as far as you can jump with 20kg on your back).