I got a lift from Glenis and Tim from Havelock to Pelorus Bridge on my Day 85 so I have another 20km to make up at some stage. We also transported another TA hiker who needed to let a toe heal for another day, and the packs belonging to the Dutch parents. Thanks Trail Angels Glenis and Tim.
I spent the afternoon exploring the area which has some good swimming and camping spots and day walks. The carparks were full and I had morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea at the cafe. In between I lay on the grass by the river and read a book. Now that was a really good rest day.
The rest of the crew arrived in dribs and drab over the afternoon.
Day 86 To Captains Creek Hut in Richmond Forest Hill Park. 1,825 km completed
As usual I was awake and up and away first. We usually go to bed about 8pm so by 5am I have had enough of laying in my tent. So I may as well get up and see the sunrise and get ready for the day.
I left at 7.30am and walked along a lonely country road until 11 am 14km. It was a bit chilly when I started but by 10.30 the sun was scorching. So I had an early lunch in the shade before heading into the Richmond Hill Forest Park.
A young, fast German girl, Elli, and a young man overtook me as I walked alongside the Pelorus River for 4 hours. It was very pretty, the greenest river I have ever seen. I wondered what makes it green. The water isn’t green when I fill my drink bottle from the river so what makes it green? Can someone Google it for me?
The track wound up and down but only about 400 meter climbs at any stage so an easy day really. There was a short swing bridge to cross that was a little hard to get on and off, but as there was no wind it didn’t swing too much. There were a few places that would have resulted in a chopper ride out if I had got my footings wrong but I managed okay.
Maybe 3 months ago I may have thought it was a hard day but now I am feeling invincible. Well, not quite but definitely fitter, faster, stronger and more confident than I have been for years.
Arriving at Captains Creek Hut I saw that the two who had passed me had carried on as the next hut was only 2.5 hours ahead. I was happy to call it quits for the day and found one of the few flat spots to put up my tent as the hut didn’t look too inviting.
I went down to the river for a swim but chickened out and just had a wash then quickly dressed as the sandflies began to circle.
8 other TA hikers arrived over the next 3.5 hours. They all looked exhausted and pleased to have survived the day. I had dragged a mattress out of the hut, put on my bug net and was reading a book I found in the hut. A little bird came and visited me.
It had obviously been a shared book as it was a pile of loose pages that I needed to put in order before beginning to read. This is what happens when there is only one book and numerous people who want to read. The first person reads a page then rips it out and passes it on to the next person, who passes it on to another one. This way numerous people can share a book.
Everyone was getting really annoyed with the sandflies so it was early to bed. Our tents have bug nets but some of the little bastards seem to find a way in no matter how fast we zip and unzip. So we all played squash the sandflies before settling down for the night. The ones that spurt blood have bitten you.