Day 29: Altimeter
Ellen and I have a
very easy morning, as the weather is so atrocious! No helicopters are
going to run in this weather and so the plans will have to be changed.
They film us looking at the rain pouring down and give us new instructions.
Chris, the New Zealand guide, is going to take us up to the start of the
mountain track. From there we have to ascend 80m in altitude where we
will find a Punga Island on which, by a wet log, we will find the treasure!
was pouring down when Chris, Ellen and I head off to look for treasure.
The mountain streams were high due to the immense amount of water flowing
from the hills and you could almost see them rising. As we had to cross
a few of these by foot we were all a little anxious! Chris took us to
the start of the mountain track and then left it to us to lead the way
and navigate the trail using our altimeter. Before heading up Ellen and
I reset the altimeter so that it read zero at that level and then we headed
up the track. At about the 40m mark Ellen stopped and we asked Chris to
check on his professional altimeter. He read the dial but declined to
tell us how it checked out!
By about 50m we had
arrived at a mountain river forming a gorge heading upwards. We followed
the riverbank, sometimes having to cross the bubbling stream in order
to find a dry place to walk. At about 80m there was a clearing and we
could see that the river split into two at this point and this formed
an island in the middle - an island covered in Punga trees!
crossed over to the island and started to look around. We soon came across
a clearing next to which was a large wet log brought there from high up
by previous floods. Ellen and I were asked to wait while Chris went over
to investigate. To our surprise he shouted out for us to stay away. A
few minutes later we were asked to proceed and Ellen and I came to the
clearing. We started to survey the area using the metal detector. After
about 5 minutes we got a strong signal from the detector. Ellen used the
shovel and soon we had a small metal box - our treasure found - but it
Why had Chris asked
us to wait? Well, previously he had hidden the treasure in the mud of
the bank but on his arrival with us to the site he found that it had moved.
In fact, it was no longer covered at all and was in a completely different
position to that where he had hidden it! What must have happened is that
the rapidly rising waters must have caused the river to burst its banks
and uncovered the box - but luckily not swept away our treasure!! Chris
had asked us to wait because he needed to re-bury the treasure for us
Ellen and I dug up
the box and found it was locked! She was so disappointed she wanted to
tear the lock off but we convinced her that it might be needed for the
final scene so we carefully packed it away and headed off down the mountain.