We took the Ferry to Picton at 8 am a little the worse for wear from our 'Galentines Day' celebrations. We met a couple of guys who were 'in the same boat' (haha) as us and had also stayed up all night. We bonded over our feeling of sub-humanity and spent the afternoon together. We had great conversations about life, the universe, and everything and probably solved a great many of the world's problems. We also went fishing, using mussels as bait. I even caught one, a very proud moment in my life.
The following morning, we caught the ferry to Ship's Cove, where the Queen Charlotte Track begins. We stopped to adjust our packs and prepare ourselves for the 70 Km hike we had ahead of us. We also me a very curious Weka, who pecked ferociously at the apple tied on the outside of Bethany's backpack. But we cleverly lured it away with some corn chips that we found awful but which the Weka enjoyed enough to eat out of our hands.
The first two days of the track were a bit of a struggle for me. We decided that the South Island was our time to get healthy and had subsequently quit smoking cigarettes. I was grumpy, my pack was heavier than it had been (because we went a little crazy with food), and the uphills were very much uphill.
I met a very nice couple from Australia and chatted with them as we hiked. Apparently, they were very worried about me and later interrogated Bethany about how much I was carrying. Although I had explained to them that my violin makes my pack look enormous but it actually weighs slightly less the Bethany's, they still suggested that she take more weight, carry the tent (which wouldn't fit in her pack), or that she organize my backpack for me. She wasn't entirely pleased that they thought she was being mean to me, but their intentions were kind.