During my summer break, I hiked the Kepler Track in the South Island of New Zealand. After a big year for Mr. Draper, the time away gave me the space to clear my mind, reflect on what I achieved in 2016, and really focus my thoughts on what I want for 2017.
I did the reverse circuit, starting at Te Anau and walking to the Control Gates, before completing the circuit clockwise - rather than the recommended anti-clockwise path. Although there are huts and some facilities on the walk, I wanted to be completely self sufficiently. As such, my backpack was quite heavy with camping equipment and food (17kgs!). With rain and snow forecast, I decided to ditch my Canon DSLR and just use the iPhone. Unfortunately it ran out of battery mid-way through day 3 but I still managed a few shots.
While this is not a super challenging walk, the act of setting a goal, planning and then executing it successfully was really satisfying and a boost to my confidence. It's amazing what a few days of sleeping under the stars can do to my frame of mind. It was a great way to start the year and it has given me a lot of energy and momentum now that I've returned to the studio.
All photos are from my iPhone and edited with the VSCO app.
A summary of the walk. Image is courtesy of http://www.newzealandwalks.com/
Day 1 - Walking along the banks of the Waiau River towards Moturua Hut.
Day 2 - Walking up the valley from Moturua to Iris Burn after a quick dip in Lake Manapouri.
Day 2 - Still walking up the valley from Moturua to Iris Burn
Day 3 - The view from my campsite at Iris Burn and the beginning of a very long day.
Day 3 - Climbing out of the valley.
Day 3 - Still climbing out of the valley.
Day 3 - Getting closer to the top.
Day 3 - Closer still, about 100 metres of elevation from the top and the last photo before my camera gave out...