"Jumping around the small puddles at the beginning of the trail, damages our land and will simply be a waste of your energy." That was the advice given before departing from the ferry that lets out at the beginning of the 4 day, 3 night, 33.5 mile, Milford Track.
After laughing at the captain and jumping around the first 50 or so puddles, the water reached knee height and it was unavoidable, I would be getting soaked. The next morning, we were instructed to wait at the hut until 9am when we were allowed to begin our day; however, the hut ranger would act as our guide and we would travel in a pack.
After three hours of walking in a torrential down pour we had walked in water up to our chest carrying bags over our heads when we reached a real impasse. The rapid river which I thought we had been walking in the entire day had truly covered the trail. Incredibly fast moving water could sweep a person down stream and it was too dangerous to go forward. This was the fiasco. We had to turn around and wait in a covered area. The group stood huddled together and did jumping-jacks to fight the freezing winds and wet clothes, finally we got word that a helicopter would be landing in an open area about a kilometer back and take us, not off the track completely, but further ahead in the trail where the river was less furious.
After the epic ride, we safely made it off the Milford Track 4 days later with one of the most spectacular experiences of my life.