From Gertrude Saddle, the next walk I wanted to do was to Port Craig at the bottom of Fiordland. Part of the Humpridge Track, but not the whole loop.
The reason for this was my Grandmother was born there and in a recording she talked about going to school in a building that was slightly below the high tide mark and would have waves coming over the floor sometimes.
This turned out to be true.
Port Craig is the remains of a logging town. Basically they built miles of rail, imported a massive steam crane, built a village, and then discovered all the timber was crap.
I went a bit further than the port to the Percy Viaduct Hut where I was greeted by a man holding a small shovel of rat and possum shit.
“Nice to see you again. Are you staying here?”, he said.
“No. My son and his girlfriend have just traversed the South Island so I thought I would walk up and meet them. I think you have a possum in here”, he handed me the shovel.
“Really? Joy…..Probably in the woodbox”
I was saved at this point by the arrival of a stoat trapper with her dog. Unfortunately during the ensuing dog vs possum fight (it was in the woodbox) the dog tore chunks of fur out of it and the possum pissed everywhere leaving me a slightly larger cleanup job than I had arrived to.
Later that night there was a tapping on the door and I looked outside to see a pair of the largest keas I have ever seen wanting me to feed them. Well, I think that is what they wanted. They seemed to have the idea that if they were cute and persistent it would work. It didn’t.