This post takes place between March 17th and March 24th
So far, my hike has been like a big romance with New Zealand, except maybe for the Tararuas. But every romance in history has a dip, just look at all the romcoms. My romance with NZ is no exception. After taking a break from hiking for 3 weeks in total, my aim was to go back on trail and crush the miles down to Bluff. I wasn't feeling 100% when I got back on trail but I thought I'd be able to crush it anyway. The first stretch was from Boyle village to Arthur's pass, 90 km. Took me 2,5 days, pretty crushy. Especially considering my fever, starting second night, and severe foot pain caused by my shoes. Got bruises on my outer right ankle bone. Got to the road and hitched into Arthur's pass with a small truck. Probably 25° in the truck, I had my rain jacket on and a dog in my lap. Still felt pretty cool. Got out of the truck and instantly started shivering. Got to the first hostel, put my hiking poles towards the table outside their office, realized they had no vacancy and continued to the next, where I fortunately got a bed.
Stayed for 3 nights, couriered my bounce box to Greymouth (closest post office) to get my trail runners again. Hitching back from Greymouth I just reached Klondyke corner campsite, around 10 km from the trailhead. Left my poles at the first hostel and somebody decided that they were theirs. Got a pair for free from the DOC office in Arthur's pass that someone left. Very convenient for me, but the poles were not good. Bent them every day until I got new ones...
Klondyke campsite was infected with mice. Woke up at least every half hour by the sound of mice against my tent. Slept with my head torch wrapped around my hand to be able to light it immediately and scare away the mice. After a couple of hours i failed waking up in time and found the mouse inside my tent. It ate itself thru my ground sheet and my food bag to feed on my oats. That mouse is no more..
After another couple of days, hiking alone in not so amusing terrain I ended up at Lake Coleridge. A lot of private land around the lake and the only place allowed to camp were on a set up camp siteby one of the land owners. Spent the night on a bed of coarse gravel.
The next morning I realized I wasn't alone at the camp site, a couple of hikers had arrived after i got to bed. After Lake Coleridge there’s a natural interruption in the trail, the Rakaia river. Not usually fordable, so you’ll have to get around it in some way.
I teamed up with the other hikers from the camp ground and we decided to hitch half way around the Rakaia river into the little village of Methven for resupply and a birthday party…