27th Dec and 28th Dec

Saint Arnauds1945kms to 1975kms Upper Travsers hut

Rest day and now getting ready to start the track again

I spent two  days in Saint Arnauds one night at the backpackers and then another night with the family at the DOC campsite. Tony had arrive mid morning and we spent the day just hanging about and drinking coffee. I had already booked  a camp site with DOC which was very expensive at 18 dollars per person, usual fee is like 8 dollars. 

Tony is excited in starting tomorrow on the track with his backpack all packed and ready to do once we sorted out the food to take.  It was going to be a heavy backpack where we needed enough food to last us 8 days so we can reach Boyle village where Brenda will be waiting for us.

Its now the 28th Dec, and I’m ready for the next section of the track. Tony was so excited and keen to get going and to experience some of the Te Araroa with me.

We started off on the trail, our bags were heavy which is nothing to me and tony was going good. The track itself was smooth and easy going and I soon was a number of meters ahead of him.  It takes some time to get into a rhythm and Tony is still finding his comfortable pace and then only ten minutes into the walk, he realised that he had forgotten his hut pass so he can have access to the DOC huts along the way, fortunately he was able to call Jomara and she returned and saved the day. 

We got to LakeHead hut where we had a short break and an energy bar before proceeding.

After an hour on the trail Tony started to feel shoulder pains, we stopped  and re-adjusted the backpack but we soon relised that the free backpack he got had very little support with 100% of the weight was on his shoulders and no matter  how much his straps were adjusted, he couldn’t get the waist straps to carry any weight. My backpack carried over 90% of its weight on my hips. Very  little on my shoulders.

Ken meet us on the track while we were finding  a way to adjust the backpack and then not long after he left, things started to go downhill really fast.  Tony’s  ankle was giving him problems and that alone was a good reason to return and call his adventure along the  Nelson Lakes National Park to an end.  But then without  warning  he somehow dislocated his shoulder and with the pain from his ankle , lower back and now his dislocated  shoulder , he passed out and crash to the ground.

There he was, laid out cold on the track with his head hanging over the edge of the path, he was lucky that at the time he was standing in the middle of the path as if he was any closer to the lake edge I’m sure he would have gone for a splash. A few moments latter he came about and was soon back on his feet telling me that its not the first time this has happened when he dislocates his shoulder.

I knew straight away that this was the end of his trip, there was no way he was able to carry on in he condition and with tears he accepted his fate. 

We unpacked his food bag and I took out what i needed for the next week or so and after much discussion about me helping him return to the car-park, he was determined that I carried on and he was ok to return by himself and insisted that I just carry on along the trail. Latter I felt guilty about not walking with him back to the car, in hindsight I should have just ignored what he was saying and left my backpack at the hut we passed and carried his bag for him back to where he could be picked up.

 I finally arrived at Upper Traverse hut, I was totally exhausted with walking 30 kms with a extra heavy backpack with more than 6 days worth of food.