March 30th 2017
Total distance: 1677.9 miles
Well I knew I was taking a risk with a central hostel in a tourist town but this was quite a terrible night. The American girl and I were in bed pretty early with the lights out and I was ready for an early night. Another girl arrived in our room, dumped her stuff and went out again. I was prepared for her coming back late. What I wasn’t prepared for was the incredibly loud thumping base from wherever it was coming from which made it difficult to fall asleep. I was so tired that I had a fitful couple of hours before I woke up and it kept me awake. I tried to listen to some podcasts, one of the Ines with a more boring voice in the hope it would lull me to sleep, it didn’t, nor did music. About 1:30am the other girl came back and started unzipping things for about half an hour. God knows what she was doing, then at around 2am she had a shower!! We had an en-suite room so the shower was super loud. She exited the bathroom along with a waft of product which made me cough. There was no fresh air because I had closed the windows because of the noise.
I was starting to feel that teary frustration you feel from being overtired as I listened to more zipping and unzipping. Finally around 2:30am she had got into bed and the thumping base outside had stopped and there was peace and calm. I drifted off to sleep around 3am having listened to the latest Mumford and Sons album in its entirety three times. I was woken up again at 6:30am by the girl who came in late as she packed up to leave. The American girl got ready to go on her LOTR tour and her bungee jump and I managed to drift off for another hour before checking out at 10am.
My first stop was to Ferg burger. A place that’s become a tourist attraction in itself and always has a huge queue outside. I planned to go early to miss the lunch rush. I decided to order the biggest thing on the menu, partly because I was hungry, partly because ‘if I’m going to do it I’m going to do it right’, and partly because it was called Big Al. It seemed appropriate, although I knew there was no way I would finish it. Half a pound of beef (2 pattys), bacon, cheese, 2 fried eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato relish and aioli.
I took it and sat by the lake and gave it my best shot but it defeated me quite spectacularly. I had a good amount of it around my face and spent most of the day with a greasy sheen. I wasn’t expecting much from it, I though it was probably an over hyped average burger but I have to admit it was actually pretty good. I ate the beetroot and the eggs and the bacon, but I couldn’t manage any more.
Now I was full I could go to the supermarket to resupply without being tempted by food for now. I walked about 10 minutes up the road to a Fresh Choice supermarket where Sandy and Colin had just finished their shopping. I picked up a few more bits at the 4 Square in town and had a wonder about the city for a bit. I sat on the village green and did some blog stuff in the sun until I decided it was time to go to my second food indulgence of the day, Balls and Bangles. I had been banging on about getting a freakshake here for sometime now and I must have influenced Sandy and Colin because they were already there tucking in. I ordered a ‘Hospital Pass’, the most chocolatey one on offer, and it was great! I was not defeated by that, I ate the whole thing.
I did feel quite sick after that and I went back to the hostel where I was storing my pack and put my resupply in it before heading to the pebble beach next to the lake for a lie down, where I fell asleep almost instantly, in a food coma. After my nap I found Sandy and Colin who had found Michael (who I last saw near Tongariro) and his new girlfriend Kara. They have finished the trail and are now travelling around by van. It was nice to catch up with them.
My PCT SOBO friend Crusher is in New Zealand and we have been trying to coordinate meeting up and it looks as though everything is going to work out. She is travelling around with her friend Rebecca and they are going to drive us around the lake. When you get to Queenstown you have to find a way around Lake Wakatipu, to continue the trail on the other side. Most hitch or there is an option for a very expensive water taxi. Crusher is going to come and hike with me for a bit too which is super exciting!
We waited for her in town and when I finally saw her it was so cool, I can’t believe we are both here in New Zealand and it’s all worked out so well. Her friend had a trial job interview thing so we had some time to kill before we went to pick her up before making our way to the campground. After much deliberation we sat in an Irish pub overlooking the lake. I drank a pint of cider in the hope it might make me sleep better tonight. We drove to pick up Rebecca and went to the campground slightly out of town which was only NZ$13 a night. We parked up next to Michael and Kara and another hiker they knew, a Swiss guy, joined us. We have quite the little group here tonight!
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.