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Day 144 The plot has been lost

Tuesday 3 March Methven to track start by shuttle, then to Comyns Hut Start 1.35pm Finish 5.45pm Distance 15km Total 2,262km Steps 25,170 Elevation 900m Weather: rain, wind then clearing What I failed to notice when previewing the trail for today was the immediate 800m climb at the beginning of the track. Hmmmm. And sideways rain added an exciting dimension. The day started pleasantly enough. I slept in for a while, then the lovely owner of the campground gave me breakfast. I had a hot chocolate at the cafe owned by the Topp Twins, and then Wayne picked us up to take us to the other side of the Rakaia River. On the shuttle with me was Kim and Chris, a couple from Canada, and Martin from Germany.

Glanrock Valley. The day started at Rakaia River in the background.

The weather forecast was for rain and strong winds and you could see heavy rain in the mountains ahead of us as we drove. It was still clear when we were dropped off, and the three others went on ahead of me. I started off reasonably strong and then in a very short space of time things weren't so great. Here is the conversation that happened in my head (pretty sure it was just in my head and not out loud, but could be wrong)... Legs: Who put this hill here? Brain: Would some chocolate help? Legs: No. We're tired. Brain: We have only just started! Legs: We did 28km yesterday without complaining so we are tired. Should have taken a rest day in Methven. Brain: We have only done 3 days since the last break. Just walk. Left foot: I did 28km yesterday and hardly complained. Legs: No, you did 14km. Right foot did the other 14km. Left foot: Smartarse. Left arm: Could we put the raincoat on now? The sideways rain is stinging. Brain: Okay, and it will give the legs a rest. (10 minutes after starting again) Legs: We are still tired. Brain: Do you want some Lindt balls? Legs: We are sick of Lindt balls. Can we have a Crunchie? Brain: No. They are in the middle of the pack and we aren't stopping again. It's raining. (2 minutes later) Legs: Can we stop and take a photo? Brain: No. It's raining. The camera will get wet. Legs: But we always get to take a photo when we are tired. Brain: Just walk. It is downhill on the other side. Knees: Did someone say downhill? Please, noooooo. (2 minutes later) Body: It is seriously hot is this raincoat. Can we take it off? Brain: No. The moment will pass. Body: It's not that kind of hot smartarse. Brain: I will take the hood off to cool down. Body: That's alright for you Brain, I'm still cooking in here. Legs: Should take the coat off, and when you do you could get the Crunchie out. Brain: For god's sake we are not getting the Crunchie out. The coat can come off when we get to that next marker pole. (After the coat is off and about 400m up) Legs: We are feeling pretty good now. Brain: Excellent. Just needed to warm up. Stomach: I hurt. Brain: Seriously!! Stomach: Well since when was it a good idea to feed me a punnet of raspberries, a punnet of strawberries, two plums, a banana, a bowl of coleslaw, and two litres of milk in an 16 hour period Einstein!?!! I'm used to a diet of chocolate! Brain: Give me strength. Left foot: I still don't hurt. Brain: Now there is a minor miracle. Legs: We are at the top. Eyes: OMG. This is stunning. Brain: Let's stay here a while. This is so worth every ache and pain. We have already done 6km in 2 hours, and climbed 800m. Not such a slug after all. We are awesome. This is awesome. Everything is awesome. That hill was pretty easy really. Unfortunately, the above is based on a true story. PLOT, LOST, I HAVE, COMPLETELY.

Turtons Stream Valley. The other side of the 800m hill climb.

Kim and Chris stayed at the A Frame Hut (guess no-one could think of a better name for it), but as we had only walked for 2.5 hours I pushed on to Comyns Hut in the rain. It is an old hut, but cute and it means I'm out of the wind. Already here is Martin, and unbelievably, Max. Last saw him in the Tararua Ranges. When he likes a place he just stops for a couple of days and hence he isn't much further ahead than me. I completely get that kind of thinking. He is here with his girlfriend. I am assuming they are a trail romance as she wasn't on the scene in the Tararua Ranges. Still blowing a gale outside so I'm pleased not to be in my tent. Big day tomorrow and again the river is the track for part of it. The forecast is for better weather so hoping my feet won't freeze.

Sunset at Comyns Hut. That is the toilet in the middle of the picture.

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