Te Araroa day 129 – beach walking to Invercargill 

April 10th 2017
Riverton – invercargill 
19.6 miles 
Total distance: 1855.5 miles

We were treated this morning to breakfast cooked by Rebecca, who is an excellent chef, and even cooked our eggs to our request! I feel like I’ve had more healthy food in the last 12 hours than my body knows what to do with, so I balanced it out by drinking a double dirty Mountain Dew with it. 


Rebecca and Angie drove us back into town so we could rejoin the trail where we left it yesterday. I thought about going to the supermarket but really there wasn’t anything I needed, I had some sweets in my bag already and I had packed out my 7up. So we hit the trail at 9am for a hopefully straightforward walk to Invercargill. 


And it was straightforward, the first 15 or so miles was a beach walk. It was a nice day and I strode out in front, killing it on the flat, leaving the québécois behind like they usually do to me at all other times. I played some music and sang along as I walked given that there was no one about to hear me. The tide was coming in but the sand was solid enough to walk on. It became a little tricky for about an hour when the beach was covered in pebbles and seaweed, making it a little slow going, but once I was through that it was a nice stroll along the beach. Although I wasn’t really strolling, powered by that Mountain Dew I was maintaining an impressive 4mph pace! There were a couple of streams to cross along the way, one very easy one where it was possible to jump from patch of sand to patch of sand, and one where you had no choice but to get wet, but only up to the knee. 


Just before the stream crossing I saw two figures in the distance and thought they could be Harry and Emma, so I tried to catch up to them. As I got closer I saw it wasn’t them, it was two older European guys that I had never met before. We had a brief conversation before I continued on. I cracked open the 7up and continued to listen to my music and really enjoyed being in the present moment. 


Until the beach walk started to get really tedious, my legs started to ache a lot and it started to drizzle. The sand flies became so bad they were biting my hands as I walked, and trapping themselves under the peak of my hat. Then I moved on from the present and started thinking about the immediate future, involving sitting down and having a drink at the cafe up the road. 


As I approached the end of the beach there were a whole bunch of cars, one full of young boys doing doughnuts on the beach. I was glad to hit the road and have a solid surface to walk on for a mile and a half to the Cabbage Tree restaurant. I had the best and biggest hot chocolate of the trail there, and waited for Sandy and Colin. It was only 1:15 and we didn’t have much further to go so we hung out there for a while, I took the time to get some of the blog updated and we ate unnecessary amounts of food. 


At 3:30 we decided it was time to go and get the 4 miles of road walking to Invercargill out of the way. It was half along the road and half along a cycle way which was a little safer and away from the cars and we were in town pretty quickly. 


The first impression of the town is that it’s just docks and shipping industry but the further in we went the more town like it looked. Sandy and Colin headed over to the post office to pick up their bounce box and we went to Pack’n’Save to pick up a few bits for dinner and for the walk to Bluff tomorrow. I got overwhelmed and ended up buying much more than I needed, given that I wasn’t even hungry at all. We found the campground, pitched our tents and I proceeded to overindulge in the food I had bought. 

A very cute little cat came to say hello and cuddled up with me for a while before I had to evict him for fear of him puncturing my air mattress. 


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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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