Friday 7 February 2014 80 °F
Today we conquered the Sealy Tarns track in the Mt. Cook National Park. The hike has a 2,000 ft. gain. Biggest news: Pearl made it ALL the way to the top. It was her first butt-kicker hike!
At the summit, there was a large communal picnic table with a fantastic view of Mount Cook and glaciers. There we chatted with many interesting people from places such as Korea, Australia, Austria, and even Kalamazoo!
Pearl adding a well-earned rock to the cairn at the summit.
The ascent was incredibly steep and included 1,947 stairs up the side of the mountain; we counted on the way down as a way to keep Pearl's attention off of her fatigue. As we descended we proudly told the ascending hikers the number of stairs left to the summit. Additionally, Pearl would loudly yell increments of 100. There was an undefinable point when our news delivery stopped being welcome and turned into bad news. "You have 250 stairs left." Good news. "You have 1623 stairs left." Bad news.
So that, along with the fact that the tooth fairy visited for the 2nd time of this trip, is the big events of the day.
After our allotted 24 hours in the National Park, we have now arrived in Lake Hawea. We have an absolutely beautiful view from our hotel room balcony across Lake Hawea to the Southern Alps. As our luck continues to improve, we found a wonderful French restaurant and a pub attached to the hotel. We may never come home.