Location: Wanaka, Km around 2600
I’m getting closer to the end… It has been four and a half months now, since I started in Cape Reigna. And there are only a couple of kilometer left… To be honest, I’m getting tired. Not of the beautiful countryside, nor of the wonderful people, who became a trail family. Nor of the daily rhythm or the hiking in general. It’s just that my body is really tired, my knees hurt, and I could sleep (or eat… or drink) all day. Beside that, the last section through Canterbury has been amazing. We hiked across many saddles, over the highest point (Stag Saddle (1925m), and most often through tussock – a beautiful grass-like plant. The most strange ground to hike across is when the tussock covers a little stream, which builds wholes in the ground and you have to look out, not to fall into those wholes ;-).
After Arthur’s Pass there was a long section, in which you would have to cross two big river beds (the Raikaia and the Rangitata). Both riverbeds are about 5 km wide and are a hazard zone on the TA. However, in dry summers (as we have it now), it is possible to cross those rivers in reasonable conditions. The first river, we decided to avoid and took the school bus (at 6:00pm on Monday morning) from Methven. The second river, we actually planned to cross, but the weather did not agree with us. When we got up (we camped on a car park before the river), we saw big rainy clouds in the mountains (which means the river will rise quickly), and the wind blew about 160 kilometers per hour. So, instead, we took a zero-day, got a house, some pizza and whisky, and had a great time. After this 7day section between the mountains, we came back to civilisation: Lake Tekapo Village, 70km later Twizel, about 100km later Wanaka. I like coming back to cities, but thru-hikers definitely become a weird species: smelly, incredibly hungry, very happy, and very down to earth.
Here some pictures:
Food: The hotel in Lake Hawea had a Rugby special: a big house burger with fries and a jug of beer for 25$. So, 8 hikers had 9 of those special deals (yes, one person had two specials), plus two baskets of the “hungryman chips”, plus two scoops of ice cream with caramel sauce (that was me 🙂 )!!!
Motto: I need energy… where are the caffeine drops?