February 24th 2017
Car park, state highway 63 – St Arnaud
Total distance: 1224.7 miles
The traffic was so loud I didn’t sleep well. Plus I had pitched my tent in a bit of a slope and my head was going downhill. I knew this would be problematic as soon as I led down, but I didn’t do anything about it. I was really dehydrated and didn’t have a pre-bed wee because of the sand flies, and when I woke up I didn’t need a wee either. But the tiny amount of moisture that was in my body all pooled overnight in my eyes and ears. My ears were completely blocked and I looked like I had been punched in the face. The one last tiny speck of fluid in my body found its way to my throats and choked me awake. What a mess.
We packed up and started the road walk into town. As I walked the thick fluid leaked out of my eyes which was quite unpleasant. The road wasn’t that busy and the 6.5 miles were done in 2 hours.
We went first to the public toilet, then to the general store where I got a soda and a pie. We attempted to sit outside but the sand flies where unbearable. We sat inside for a couple of hours catching up with the world then went to check into the Alpine Lodge. When I called a few days ago I asked to book dorm beds but they were full so we had to get a private room which was a bit more expensive, and I tried to negotiate with the lady to not charge us for holding our packages as a good will gesture, but she wasn’t having it.
When we checked in she remembered our phone conversation and she only charged is NZ$5 for all or our packages which was really nice of her and I felt suitably embarrassed. We showered, but still didn’t really feel clean, I have 3 big dreadlocks in my hair, and then we went for pizza. The pizza was amazing. Nacho pizza, sounds weird yes, but it was one of the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.
Later on we got fish and chips, from the fish and chip shop that opens for 2.5 hours, 2 nights a week. There are lots of places in New Zealand like this, it’s amazing how they survive! We took it and ate it in our beds. The ultimate guilty pleasure, eating in bed.
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.