One night, when I was sitting with my friends Peter and Paula inside Tipi, playing music and eating homemade pizzas, Peter said that there’s a lake in Kahurangi National Park, a mini version of Milford Sound. It´s a magical place with a tiny hut next to the lake and a waterfall close by. It sounded so mysterious, a place I must see.
The same way felt Paula and after few days of planning we were on our way to the Boulder Lake.
Peter was driving us to the point where the hike starts and he walked with us about an hour because he was so worried about everything, that we are not able to walk fast enough and what if the weather changes. He said if we finish the trip and come back alive we can hike anywhere in New Zealand.
The first hour was easy, just a bit hilly track through the farmland and bush. After leaving Peter behind and saying goodbyes we kept walking, no turning back. We had to jump over a dozen of landslides; one was so wide that we had to through our bags over first and then ourselves. After those holes in the ground we found some fallen trees in front of us and had to find our way climbing over and under those big trunks, all the time we were trying to look for an orange arrow as a sign of a track. The arrow was like a light in the end of the tunnel, guiding us to the finish line.
But then the weather decided to change, it started hailing. Luckily Paula had her tarp and we crawled underneath and waited until the hail stopped, we were still happy and not worried at all.
The Boulder Lake track consists of four main points you have to pass to finally reach the hut. The first one is called Black Cow(606m), second is The Pulpit(1247m) then Cow saddle and finally Brown Cow(1452m). When we were walking over Cow Saddle and saw the tip of the Brown Cow, we knew that we are almost there but when we started to climb up and make our way around the Brown Cow it started snowing, at first I wasn’t afraid because it was just a light snow falling down until it started snowing more and more and we could hardly see our next stick. There weren’t any orange arrows up on the road anymore, only sticks every now and again that showed us the way.
I was cold and wet and not really sure what I was feeling, I just wanted to get in the hut and get some warm clothes on, no other thoughts in my mind. The ground was slippery and I had to clean the surface on every step because I didn’t want to fall down into the gully. I just kept going real slowly. When we got pass the Brown Cow it stopped snowing and we saw the lake down in the valley, we had an hour walk in front of us. My clothes were wet and my feet felt really cold, I decided to change them for dry ones, Paula didn´t like the idea of stopping but I had to, I trusted my instincts and after changing my wet ones to dry clothes I felt warmer.
When we finally made it to the hut, we were freezing and because of the rain our boots and clothes were soaked. As we got inside the hut we took all our clothes off as fast as we could. Paula managed to get the fire on and luckily we still had some dry clothes left to put on. I was shivering almost half an hour. The dinner and hot that night was the best I ever had. My dreams were full of Maori warriors and their solemn faces, they weren’t scary and I wasn’t afraid, I felt safer than ever as I was taken care of those dead spirits.
In the morning I had a change to admire the beautiful lake surrounded by the mountains and the morning mist. No one was there, only me and my friend, we were in the middle of the fairy land with the birds and the spirits of the Boulder Lake.
This was a contest sumbission by Riin Õispuu.
Updated: August 19, 2015