I had a fairly good first night back in my little tent at the Riverton Camping Grounds. I did toss and turn a bit and kept putting stuff in the wrong place but that should all come back and become habit again for me.
I had some blisters than need dealing and I needed to buy some sunscreen to so I was up and into town (1.5km) at 9 am to catch the chemist when it opened. However the sign on the door said it wasn’t opening which contradicted what was on the website. Bugger, that meant I just had to buy some Elastoplast from the supermarket rather than Compeed for my blisters.
So I had a coffee and though about my day ahead sitting on a sundowner outside the cafe. It was a perfect seat for a weary walker except I must have looked like an invalid getting up from it.
Vaughan and Eliza arrived to say they were having a rest day to let their feet heal a bit before continuing.
There was a 12.5km Beach walk on today which I did last time. It was awful, and extremely sloping beach with lose stones all day. On my SOBO we had walked this section by morning tea time and were going to carry on and do another 38km walk to Invercargill. I lost the plot and hitched a ride with a courier driver.
So my memories of the beach walk to come were not good at all and my feet weren’t the best so I decided I would hitch.
I had only walked about 50 metres when a car pulled over and a lady jumped out saying “Karen, Karen I recognize you and your pack. I am so pleased to finally meet you “
Now that is Trail Magic! This lady is about my age and had followed my blog all the way through my SOBO Te Araroa. This inspired her to walk the South Island part last season.
She had read my last couple of posts and knew I was in the area but didn’t expect to see me on the main road. They were heading out to the beach about halfway along for a walk and thought they may see me there.
So I had a ride and a good chat to the beach entrance and ended up walking the last 5km along the beach. I saw Jim and Isaac, a couple of Kiwi lads ahead of me and they were walking up at the edge of the sandhills on a nice easy flat track. Gosh I wish we had known about that last time.
So I arrived very happy af Colac Bay by foot this time. Last time I arrived by helicopter after getting lost in the Longwood Forest. A much less dramatic entrance this time and no free bottle of beer either.
The pub and camping grounds were full up as this was New Years public holiday and we had had 3 unusually hot days in a row. They ran out of good at the pub and water at the camping ground. Luckily I had already filled my water bottles and had some extra dinners available on my bag.
I met Okan a young kiwi plumber whi had walked on the stones all the way. He was gutted to hear of the nice track up higher. There was another couple who would be on trail tommow. So I wouldn’t be out there on my own.