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Kepler Track

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The highlight of my trip to New Zealand was hiking the Kepler Track in Fiorland National Park.

DSC_0173The 60 km trek begins with a gradual uphill walk from Te Anau to the Moturau Hut on Lake Manapouri.

DSC_0188 DSC_0191The second day travels through a valley wedged between the Kepler Mountains and  Jackson Peaks, ending at the Iris Burn campsite.
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When I awoke on the third day, I feared poor weather for what was supposed to be the most scenic section of the trail.DSC_0227

As I climbed higher, I thought the clouds were clearing.DSC_0238

In reality, I had just hiked above the clouds.DSC_0265

The most stunning hike of my life took me along the ridge with the clouds below my feet.DSC_0272 DSC_0274 DSC_0279 DSC_0287

The final night on the trail I spent at the Luxmore Hut, which has a cave nearby.DSC_0335 DSC_0301 DSC_0339

Exhausted and overwhelmed after four days, I returned safely to my campsite in Te Anau.DSC_0349