March 1st 2017
Boyle Flat hut – Boyle village / Hanmer Springs
Total distance: 1296.6 miles
We set the alarm for 6am, saw it was still pitch black and promptly went back to sleep for half an hour. We wanted to get to town as soon as possible but we didn’t want to walk in the dark. We ended up leaving at 7:15am to do the 7.6 miles to Boyle River.
The trail was fairly uneventful and we just got the miles done as quick as the rocky and rooty trail would allow us to move. My knees were really hurting today and I was looking forward to the rest. We dipped in and out of forest and crossed little streams and avoided the mud. Our shoes were already wet because of the long grass in the morning.
We made it to the road and within 10 minutes and transport lorry had stopped and picked us up and we were on our way to Hanmer Springs. It was super hot out and we were glad we didn’t have to wait by the side of the road for too long. The nice man, whose name I didn’t get, took us to the junction where we hitched again for the remaining 5 miles to town. The first car than came by picked us up and took us to town. Again forgetting to get a name or a photo of the nice man.
We wondered down to the YHA to see if we could change our booking from tomorrow to today and we got lucky. There was no phone service in this section to call ahead so we just had to wing it. Next port of call was food, snapper and kumara chips, delicious. As we were waiting for our food the town alarm went off, this happens in all the small towns and I find it bizarre every time! It was so loud as we were right next to the services, and we saw a fire engine leave. On the way to 4 square to resupply we saw Colin who was on our river trip and chatted to him for a while, and met his girlfriend Sian who had joined him for the South Island.
The agony of resupply continued as I bought a random selection of things to keep me alive for the next 5 days, on our way back Colin and Sandy had made it to town and they were chatting to Colin and Sian. A big wildfire had erupted as they were hitching to town, they just made it through before it closed the road. I’m so glad we got to town when we did, the fire must have been called in while we were waiting for our food. They said they could feel the heat of the fire in the car. So we sat on the side of the road chatting to them and talking about the fire. We could see the smoke in the distance, so we may be stuck here!
We went back to the YHA to check in and do our laundry, and eat again before going to the hot springs – a highly anticipated activity. We went to the hot springs just before 6. You can hire a swimming costume and a towel which I did. The hot springs are great, there are different sections, sulphur pools, mineral pools, a lazy river and – a personal favourite – aquatherapy! This is where there are jets and hoses of water which pound your tires muscles and it was great! The only thing missing was a cold dip pool, but the rest of it was brilliant.
I mistakenly wore my silver ring into the sulphur pool and it immediately discoloured, so I ran around in a bit of a panic until I googled it and found baking soda or toothpaste should do the trick. I took it off and put it away and tried not to let it stress me out. It felt so good to soak in the water, and just feel really clean – we’ve been jet washed. We stayed until it closed at 9pm and made our way back to the hostel to eat and go to 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.