4.5 hours nice easy walk through valley carved out by glaciers many years ago then, as sun became very hot I was into the shade of Beech forests again.
Today I listened to a couple of podcasts as it was to be an easy day. One was about shortcuts and the other about an English guy who rode a bicycle from UK to Australia taking 3 years. These passed the time for me but I am not really so keen on having the distraction. Part of what I like about these damn long walks is that my mind slows down and I don’t have to think much. My body gets a workout while my brain gets a rest.
This area is a Recreational Hunting Area (RHA) with fellow deer, red deer and Camois. Hunters go into a ballot to get access to a particular block for up to 5 days at a time during the season.
Similar for fly fishing 1 Feb to 31 March . And Nov to May.
The end of my day brought me close to the well onown Routeburn, Rees/Dart Track, and Greenstone/ Caples Tracks. This means the tracks are better maintained and much easier walking.
I met a few SBOB walkers who had all expected to be meeting me on the track. I met 2 separate women whi had followed my original TA and were inspired to have a go themselves. One said she liked how I shared some good examples of what NOT to do.
I arrived at the very big, flas Greenstone Hut at noon, sat in sun to eat lunch then had a wee snooze as I was uncertain whether I would carry on.
Eventually a couple of young Canadian girls arrived having walked in for lunch and a swim in their pretty little shorts and tops with no heavy, smelly packs. They looked very clean and fresh!
They offered me a ride to Queenstown which I was grateful for. This meant I didn’t need to find a place to camp at then end of the road and bother with booking a shuttle for the 1.5 hour, 82km of gravel road.
So I left in a hurry leaving them to fins a swimming hole. The sign said 3-5 hours to the carpark and I did it in just 3 hours. It was an easy track underfoot, mostly downhill and I really pushed myself to go as fast as I could so that I didn’t hold them up.
I paced it well as they arrived about 10 minutes after me. We had a good conversation on the way to town and they dropped me outside the Adventure hostel at about 7.30pm.
I showered up and headed out for a much needed dinner. The first place I came to had a sign saying $20 hamburger, chips and a beer which sounded good to me. It was a hot evening so I headed outside and joined a table with a young couple and a man about my age.
That was to be today’s mistake. The man went on to tell me how bad my meal choice was. He lived in some kind of monastery and didn’t eat after 1pm each day and fully fasted 2 days a week.
I observed his 2nd pint of beer being ordered and him smoking a cigarette from a packet that had a horrible picture of a deformed fetus on it. So I replied, “Oh, so I see you just drink beer and smoke cigarettes all afternoon!” That shut him up for a bit and gave the young couple a laugh.
Then he asked me how old I was (very rude) and where I lived, commenting that Palmerston North was full of scumbags. I didn’t really feel like making a scene so left without finishing my meal. Some people!!!
I am giving rest day tiday Sunday and need to wait to hear from Kay, who us coming to walk the next section with me. She us out doing some other walks in the area so it is quite hard trying to coordinate things. I am ahead of schedule so happy to rest up here in Queenstown. This is one of our biggest tourist destinations and it has been hit hard by Covid-19. There are a lot of Kiwus here and very few from overseas. Surprisingly the local newsletter had lots of job vacancies inthe hospitality industry. Not my scene as I don’t think I could manage to be too hospitable to difficult people.
Jobs to do, washing clothes and shoes and plan next section.