Sunday, February 05, 2012


"Live free, child of the mist, and with respect to knowledge we are all children of the mist.
" Henry David Thoreau, Walking

We recently camped out for four lovely nights on the shores of Lake Marian, a beautiful alpine lake in Fiordland on the south island of New Zealand, just off the Hollyford and Milford roads. It's relatively accessible by Fiordland standards; compared to what it takes to visit Mt. Titiroa, this is a breeze, requiring only 3-4 km tramp rising a few hundred meters. Several rocky stream-beds and rock-slide areas have to be crossed, but it's easily doable even for the long and short of age. We had the perfect camp-site, and saw no more than a handful of people the whole time we were there, mainly due to 'bad' weather...but we loved the rain and mists and the myriad water-falls that come and go. The cries of keas were a constant and we became able to discern several variations on their calls. We learned that Lake Manapouri was at its lowest level since 1970; Lake Marian appeared to be as much as 3 or 4 meters lower than she was when we visited two years ago. We froze our asses off by going swimming three times, too, but were softly blanketed by mists every night.

As opposed to our Mt. Titiroa excursion, which was extremely demanding physically and required us to be constantly on the move, at Lake Marian we were able to slow down and be still, to become much like a rock, a moss, a tree. The tranquility and peacefulness are impossible to convey in words over the internet; suffice it to say that extended periods of solitude like this are absolutely essential to maintain optimal mental, physical and spiritual health, not to mention to be in touch with the spirit of nature and Mother Earth. Being at and with...not just 'passing through'...places like Lake experiencing the REAL 'reality.'

"MISTY MARIAN", a short film by Liesbet Verstraeten & Jeff Phillips (experimental flutes by Liesbet)

Lake Marian Photos