Te Araroa day 75 – a very pleasant day  

February 15th 2017
possible camping – Davies bay campsite 
21.2 miles 
Total distance: 1113.1 miles

It was a cold one last night, I even had to put on my hat. Colin said he was kept awake all night by the possums but I didn’t hear a thing. I woke up about 6:30am in a panic because I remembered I had left my socks outside and I was worried a Weka would have come along and stolen them in the night but they were still there. I left them outside and went back to sleep, and every few minutes I woke up and peered outside to check they were still there. Eventually I realised that bringing them inside the tent would eliminate the problem. 

I drifted on and off and we didn’t start packing up until 9am. A few groups of people passed us and one guy shouted “come on girls, time to get up, chop chop!” as he went by. We got going and it was HOT. We were dripping with sweat and sluggish. The first goal of the day was to get to a toilet and on the way there we stopped to chat to a group of people who we ended up crossing paths with all day. They are doing the track in pure luxury. They are taking 6 days to do what we are doing in 2, and they spent the day at Furneaux lodge yesterday which was a very nice place to spend the day! This is what I meant about it being a really accessible walk, plus 3 out of the 4 wives of the men didn’t want to walk so they are taking a boat and meeting them at each place along the way. It sounds so enjoyable! 


We reached the toilet and could then relax a bit! We walked with our new friends for a bit and found out a lot about them and we told them all about our experiences on the trail. It was nice to have some people to chat to as we walked along, and for the most part we were able to walk side by side. We stopped and took a lunch break at the same spot as them, there wasn’t any shade so Sandy and Colin fast-pitched their fly and we huddled under that for a break from the sun. 


Everyone moved on before we did, people seem to take much shorter breaks than we do, and we made it to the next shelter which had great rain water. I had already drunk a litre today which is unusual for me so it shows how hot it was. The views over the sounds were great today at every turn. There was always some activity to look at, lots of boats and kayakers, we could see across to Picton where we had started from just yesterday. 


Next we had a brutal climb uphill, it wasn’t too long but it was super steep and very hot. My calf muscles are so tight that it sometimes feels painful to go uphill. Julia and I stopped two thirds of the way up on a bench to drink some water. I was so hot I felt like my head was going to explode. As we were sat there a lady is running up, and this lady was probably twice my age. She didn’t appear to be sweating, or red in the face, and we were a mess! I saw her again as she headed back down and she asked me a question about sand flies, she seemed to be British and after she had run away I wondered if she had maybe been someone of note, a famous athlete. She was incredibly fit and I just had that feeling she was someone. But I’ll never know because I never asked and she had already gone. 


The descent the other side of the hill was equally as steep and it was punishing on my feet and ankles. I was very pleased when the trail started to flatten out a bit and the elevation and delevation became a lot more gradual. We had about 6 miles to go still and I don’t know why but my body was really feeling it today, my legs and feet were really hurting and it was tough to keep going, so I put an earphone in and listened to my very limited selection of music. There was no one around so I did a bit of singing to motivate myself. As I came around a corner I saw a biker and he said ‘you scared me’, I think he must have meant ‘your singing scared me’ because he must have heard me coming! 


It was a nice easy walk to the campsite which was down by the water, I’m not sure if it’s just my body getting used to the new shoes but my legs from the knee down are so achy. I think Julia said she was feeling it too today so at least I’m not on my own. 


I eat my cheese and salami tortilla for dinner and then I lose all self control and finish the rest of my chocolate, so now I have no chocolate for tomorrow which will be terrible when I wake up and the realisation of what I’ve done kicks in. As the sun goes down a lot of rustling in the bushes begins and it’s the Weka birds creeping about. I decide to bring my pack and shoes into the tent with me tonight so I don’t panic about them being stolen (by the birds). One lets off its distinctive cry just as Julia is falling asleep. It’s very loud. ‘Puff puff, what was that?’ she asks. Thankfully I had seen one making this exact sound in the middle of the trail yesterday. ‘It’s just one of those birds’ I reply. ‘One of the ones that tried to steal your sit pad earlier?’ Yeah, that’s the one.  

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I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps. 

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