30th Friday December. Te Araroa 90 (tent )
Upper Waiau(1998km) Forks campsite to Anne Saddle(2041km), tent next to river. 43km
Tented last night for the first time what seems to be a long time. yesterday’s climb over the Waiau Pass was really challenging, probable the hardest pass I’ve walked over so far, definitely the most dangerous. There were a couple of moments I just cling to a rock, forcing my body as close to the ground as possible with fear of sliding down the mountain on the fine gravel which where I walked on the wrong way would start a mini avalanche and take me with it. On one occasion, I was about 10 meter on the wrong side as i had follow the wrong track and to get back to the track i had to cross a section where I had to make groves into the ground so I could get grip for my boots so I wouldn’t slip . Very scary stuff and something I wouldn’t like to repeat.
I heard feed back from Tony yesterday, dislocated shoulder, sore back from the ill fitted backpack and a swollen ankle. I got the text messages when I was only about 20 minutes from the top. Tony phone and I said I’ll call you back when I get to the top. Problem was, no mobile reception up the top.
Started at 6:30 this morning, many stream crossing
Stopped at Caroline Creek Bivvy (Photo above and below) which is a hut with two beds only, to be honest, I would prefer to put my tent up out side than sleep in there. I left only moments after I arrive and left behind a cloud of sandflies that would make my morning tea-break impossible.
The inside Caroline Creek Bivvy, a place I’d stay in if condition were bad but not today with so many sand-flies about
Great to finally walk long distances on flat ground, instead of up and over ridges, hill top and mountains.
Many river crossings where I removed my boots for most so I wouldn’t get my socks wet, nothing worse than wet socks and still have many hours of walking to do, problems arise when the skin is weak due to be being wet for so long.
What a great day with only but blue sky and the hot sun which makes a great change from the cold and rains in the past.
I’m travelling in Canterbury now and the feeling is so much different. Once I walked out of the narrow valley after crossing the Waiau Pass, everything just opened up, the rivers become wider, the valley started to lose its trees and for most of the day I walked in open land that was flat.
Today was a big deal, I passed the 2,000km mark, I looked but I didn’t see any signage to reflect the milestone like what I sore for the 1,000 and 1,500km mark.
I had an option to stay in a hut tonight, but at 5pm, I felt I still had plenty of energy and with the weather being so warm I decided not to stay at Anna Hut but to push on for a few more hours so tomorrow I’ll arrive at Boyle village at about mid day for resupply which is sitting here waiting for me.
Sandflies trying to enter my tent last night while I camped beside a nice river