Day 142 Mirror Tarn: A reflective place
Sunday 1 March From campsite before Hamilton Hut to Trustpower campsite at Harper Village Start 9.15 am Finish 5.20pm Distance 21km Total 2,217km Steps 37,417 Elevation: All downhill with only a few ups. Weather: sunny until 5pm, then cloudy Yes, I know, a corny heading that many have probably said before me. When you have nothing much to fill your head all day, you would think I could come up with something better. There was a Mirror Tarn. A bit off trail, but well worth the time and uphill effort. The conditions were perfect. No wind and the sun not too high in the sky. I have once again had a day of ideal weather conditions. Here is the reward for my extra effort.
The day started very cold. It had been a cold night and the dew and condensation on and in the tent was the worst I have had. I'm thinking of getting my other sleeping bag sent down to me. It is much warmer (and heavier), and as I keep going south and autumn progresses, I think I will need it. Because of the cold I had a disturbed sleep waking frequently and dreaming. The weirdest one that I can remember was getting myself in a state because I couldn't find the vacuum cleaner to clean my tent.
I wasn't in any hurry today so I stayed in my sleeping bag and didn't emerge from it until 8.30am, hence the late start. There was only 21km to do so the plan was to take my time. No point spending a whole heap of time at a designated campsite at the other end in my tent.
So I started late, took the side trip to the Mirror Tarn, shot a load of photos, sat and stood in wonder at the emerging scenery, had a very long lunch break in the sun, and basically enjoyed one of those days I love. The scenery is different again to anything seen before. Incredibly steep scree mountains with basically nothing else in terms of vegetation on them. Quite spectacular.
I'm guessing I took a slightly wrong turn near the end of today as I had to climb a padlocked gate to exit on to the road. A couple of hundred metres along I could see the orange triangle of the track I should have emerged from. Oops. The campground is uninspiring with no view, but it does have the luxury of a water tap and long drop. There are a number of people here, TA hikers as well as people in vehicles. There is a stunning pink sky at the moment but I'm tucked up in my sleeping bag and have no intention of moving.
I am trying hard not to dread tomorrow. It is mostly road walking, 28km so at my comfortable distance limit, and I have to be at Lake Coleridge by a specific time to catch the shuttle. So pressure, distance and pain - yay. I need to get up early to make sure I get there in time and I think I will listen to an audio book for the first time in the South Island. It's only one day. Oh, nearly forgot, I completed the 2,200km mark today. The remaining 800km doesn't seem so far anymore.