March 17th 2017
camp stream hut – Lake Tekapo
Total distance: 1499.7 miles
I lay half in and half out of the tent staring up at the stars which were absolutely incredible. I saw a shooting star and made a wish, which I can’t tell you or it will never come true! I started to get cold so I zipped myself in for the night but left the fly open. By 4am when I looked out again the moon had come up and being nearly full it washed out all the stars.
It was another crisp morning, but no condensation and no sand flies!! The elevation chart looked nice for the day and it should be a straightforward cruise into Lake Tekapo. My PCT 2015 friend Just Jules is coming to meet me there, she lives in New Zealand and has helped me out along the way by letting me store some stuff at her house. I’ve decided I want my stove back for the last bit of the trail so rather than post it to me she is going to deliver it personally which is so nice of her!
The trail follows an easy track down to the river which I managed to cross on rocks before it climbs up and I got wet feet in the bog at the bottom of the climb. It was hot already and I was glad to get the only climb for the day out of the way before the sun came up. I followed the track all the way to the road and it was such a nice walk, with panoramic views of Lake Tekapo stretched out before me, and not a cloud in the sky it was a perfect day. The last 10 miles to town is on a gravel road and the temperature, on a scale of one to hot, was HOT! So hot! I put my bandana on my head to shield myself from the sun, something I haven’t done since the early beach days, and thankfully there was water along the road because I was so so thirsty.
I left earlier than Sandy and Colin and I didn’t see anyone all day, I only had 5 miles left but I was getting hungry and feeling weak so when I saw a patch of pine trees I took the only opportunity of the day to sit in some shade and eat a snack. About 5 minutes after I sat down a huge heard of sheep came up the road, well that was good timing. The sheep weren’t a problem, but the sheep dogs tried to get in my food bag!
The views were so nice all day and I arrived at Tekapo at 3:20pm which was earlier than I had estimated. It was full of tourists. Bus loads of them, literally bus loads. All stood around taking selfies next to the lake. There is a huge Asian population in Lake Tekapo. I headed straight for the 4 square and got a drink and an ice cream and sat in the shade. Not long after Jules arrived and we went to the campground where she had managed to get us a cabin to stay in. Accommodation is hard to come by here because there are so many tourists.
We went back into town for food, we chose Thai and I of course had a Pad Thai which was delicious. A quick trip to the 4 square saw us bumping into Sandy and Colin and we offered them a ride to the campground (it’s about a mile up the road and no one wants to walk a mile off the trail). I also saw the other Colin and when I was waiting outside a person came up and gave me a huge hug. It was Sian! She’s so sweet! We caught up and then took off back to the campground. Unfortunately we didn’t have room to take everyone.
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.