Day 131 I was not hallucinating!
Tuesday 18 February Windy Point to Huinui Hut Start 6.45am Finish 7.50pm Distance 32km plus 1.3km from road Steps 54,594 Total 2104km Elevation up and down approx 400m Weather: overcast then raining A three day break should be appreciated by my body, but my mind certainly isn't grateful. The longer the period of rest the harder it is to get back on trail. Not helping my general sense of motivation is this unreasonable notion I have developed where I think I have seen the best the trail has to offer. I just can't imagine anything surpassing my experience of the Richmond Ranges and Waiau Pass. I was dropped off at Windy Point by Dave bright and early. From the get go my body, which should have been bouncing off the trees having appreciated the hot pools, massage, proper food and rest, was in fact resisting every step. The up hills hurt my hips, the downhill hurt my knees and the flat hurt my feet. That is one seriously unappreciative body!
After self medicating with chocolate (chocolate before 10am is for medicinal purposes only), I gave myself a stern talking to and undertook to start noticing and appreciating the environment and nature around me. Next minute, there appeared in the distance - a fully naked man. Bet you weren't expecting that. Nor was I. He was wearing tramping boots, had walking poles and a pack, but otherwise not a stitch. I promise I wasn't hallucinating from the sugar high I was having. We exchanged pleasantries and carried on our respective ways. My next thought was "I hope he has a regular mole map", noting it was clear by the depth of his all over tan this wasn't a new thing for him. The next thought was "Oh god, what about the sandflies", and finally I couldn't understand why he had such a big pack. Surely without clothes he should be ultra light weight. Maybe his pack is full of insect repellent. The things I get to see on this trip!
Most of the walking today was in mature beach forest. There were two periods during the day where there was significant bird song. It was so lovely to hear and something I have been missing. I took a side trip up a hill for a lookout over Lake Sumner only to find you had to be 7 foot tall to see over the trees.
The intention today was to walk about 25km and tent somewhere along the track. Things conspired against me which resulted in a much bigger day than I really wanted. Mid afternoon I thought I heard a plane overhead. Transpired it was thunder and plenty more could be heard in the hills to my right. Shortly after the rain started. Bearing in mind I'm walking in a valley which is fed by many water ways, it wasn't an area I really wanted to camp in during a thunderstorm and an unknown quantity of rain in the hills filling the streams. So I decided to make it to Hurinui Hut. By the time I got to the swing bridge about 1km from the hut I was wet and very tired. This is when I started to make bad decisions. I couldn't find the track and decided to bush bash. Not a good move. I spent the next half hour going about 300m through dense Manuka and sidling around rock faces. I had just made the decision to turn back when I found the track. It was a stupid thing to do.
Tomorrow I will take it much easier and do a much shorter day. My feet are killing me at the moment and my legs are dead. Just too much of a big day for me. A good reminder I'm not super woman. That said I have now passed the 1200km mark. No photo because it was raining and I was just too tired.