19th December, Te Aroaro 79 day

Smith Farm Holiday Park 1773km, Zero days in CHCH then back on the trail at Havelock.

7 days off the track where I headed down to Christchurch to see Eunhwa and to spend some time with my brother on his 50th birthday.  The road from Picton to Christchurch no longer follows the coastline but instead it users the narrow inner road of the island which wasn’t built for the busy heavy traffic that is now being diverted.  So instead of a four hour trip it’s now an eight hour trip that rocks and rolls along the country road.

Back last Monday I found out the real reason why Eunhwa had the sudden departure from the trail to the comforts of Christchurch; she is pregnant, wow what a shock for me at an age of 51 and such joy for Eunhwa.  So it’s a visit to the family clinic for a checkup and a test to make sure that the chemist test kit was correct.  Should I be happy? I had mixed feelings at first and at my age and just retired 12 months ago, I was slowly coming to the realization that I’m going to be a father after all these years. So I was getting used to the idea of being a father.  Eunhwa decided to return to South Korea where she would have support from her family and at the age of 37, special care is required to insure everything goes as planned.

After a week’s rest in Christchurch, it’s time to head back to the trail and as Tony my brother dropped me off at the bus station and hour and a half early, as he was heading to work,  I was very keep to return as I missed the trail life of walking the Te Araroa.  It’s an eight hour return trip and lucky for me the bus wasn’t  full and I had the seat to myself.  The bus stops at Spring Juntion where the driver has an hours break and mother in her motor home had coffee and lunch ready for me.  Mother  and David were excited about the news of being grandparents  and mother says it’s going to be a girl, I myself didn’t mind either way.

I arrive at Rewick, which is the junction to get to Havelock and lucky for me I managed to hitch hike with two lifts to the start point of the track.

Just me on the track now

At 6pm I arrive at the point where the track started again, Pelorus Bridge , these was a camp site there but I had been sitting for the last 9 hours and just wanted to get moving and find somewhere else to camp.  It was road walking for the next 2 hours until I come across an area where it was a perfect place to camp along the Pelorus river and under the protection from the wind with the surrounding  trees.