NOTICE: The following words must be read in your best Scottish accent.

Now, let’s begin.

Once upon a time in a far away land, there was a little bearded lad. His name was Adam. Now, little lad Adam fell deeply in love and married a lovely princess. Her name was Lindsey. Oh, little lad Adam adored Princess Lindsey and her long brunette locks and Lindsey loved Adam and his burly beard just the same.

It gave them great joy to walk and talk and dream together hand in hand in the forests beneath the canopy of the beech trees. They loved listening to the songs of the birds and to be enclosed in the symphony of the chirping crickets. Little lad Adam and Princess Lindsey even lived in a little old van by the river.

One day they decided to walk around the grand Lake Waikaremoana, known across the land as a Great Walk.

 Lake Waikaremoana

Lake Waikaremoana

Now, Great Walks were known to be long, distant tramps in faraway lands not for the faint at heart. The great walks lead trampers through beautiful and epic forests, up into the alpine and over mountains, along great rivers and around grand, majestic lakes. These walks and lands are to be respected by all who journey on their paths. The treks are known to be grueling, difficult and even treacherous. Hand in hand, the two were up for the great challenge.

Now, little lad Adam was strong and ripped with burling muscles from head to toe and was known far and wide as the most adventurous lad in the land. For Lindsey, although she was a princess, she was known to sneek on her hiking boots under her gowns and much preferred them to her royal slippers. With the wind to their backs, the two filled their sacks with provisions and strapped on their packs for their several day adventure. Off they went skipping into the forest singing tra-la-la-la!

STOP! Stop! The fairy tale, the accent, it all must end here!

We hiked until our feet were begging to fall off each night. We were tired. We were cranky. We had blisters on top of blisters forming. Thankfully, each bend of the trail brought new spectacular views of Lake Waikaremoana and the surrounding forests. The views were worth every bit of trauma to our feet.

 The ugly ducklings settled here. There were tons of black swans!

The ugly ducklings settled here. There were tons of black swans!

 Enormous trees filled the bush!

Enormous trees filled the bush!

 Exhausted by the final night. Collapsed on the front porch at the hut. 

Exhausted by the final night. Collapsed on the front porch at the hut. 

 View from our campsite. 

View from our campsite. 

 The final morning. Looking forward to crossing this sucker soon!

The final morning. Looking forward to crossing this sucker soon!

 Last bit of trail on a bridge. 

Last bit of trail on a bridge. 

Once the 46 kilometers were complete, we found our stashed kayak in the bush, blew her up and headed down the stream into the lake to get back to our campervan, Bernie.

wpid-20141212_112931.jpg
wpid-20141212_112931.jpg

It felt like we were back in college being forced to fulfill a torturous team building experiment. We stuffed ourselves and our huge packs into our puny kayak with knees to chins expecting ourselves to paddle across this monstrous lake. The first thirty minutes were fun, adventurous, stunningly beautiful and just lovely.

 YAY! The kayak hasn't sunk yet!

YAY! The kayak hasn't sunk yet!

Then came the next hour of half smiles, beginning to sweat and trying to stay positive. We weren’t even into the main part of the lake, yet.

 Fake it til we make it!

Fake it til we make it!

The next hour was full of desperate searching for the lake’s current (do lakes even have a current?), more resting than rowing, and constantly praying the wind would just blow us to the other side. The phase of complaining and hopeless heads down had begun. It didn't help that the cheap aluminum paddles kept breaking off into the water so we were constantly back tracking and doing circles to rescue them. Adam started having a silent melt down in the back of the boat.

We just were not getting any closer to the shore. We were stuck, (groan), in the same spot, (grunt), of the lake, (whine), and just couldn’t, (wimper), get any closer (sniffle) to land. (blubbering)

 This was our view forever. We just couldn't get there!

This was our view forever. We just couldn't get there!

Adam pulled himself together and led us through our final thirty minutes. Survivor mode, ya’ll. We dug deep and mustered up courage to get to the other side with our new regiment: 20/10’s. Twenty rows and a ten second break, twenty rows, ten second break, twenty rows, ten second break. Count with us now! 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…

 Land!

Land!

YAHOOO!!!

We crossed the huge bugger of a lake in our record time of 3 hours with tears in our eyes, exhausted shoulder muscles and new rippling biceps!

What a mountain top moment! We were on land again!

 So happy and relieved to be on the other side!

So happy and relieved to be on the other side!

Now, the adventure wasn’t over just yet. Princess Lindsey had held her composure through the entire three day journey. Until, it came to her battle with the solar camping shower in the car park. The blasted bugger of a daggum bag with a cheap plastic hose got the best of her. Princess Lindsey fulfilled her role perfectly. Every fairy tale’s princess is entitled to her temper tantrum.

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