Day 146 Fog and a frozen tent
Thursday 5 March Lake Emily to Rangitata River pick up and shuttle to Geraldine Start 7.20am Finish 4.25pm Distance 29km Total 2315km Steps 51,111 Elevation: approx 300m Weather: sunny after a foggy start I know I don't like the obligation of having to be somewhere by a certain time. I like to take whatever time I want, which allows me to linger when I am in awe or simply want to rest. However sometimes there is a silver lining. Today was on obligation day, needing to be at the Rangitata River pick up point for 5pm, and it was a 29km day. So the plan was an early start. I woke up at 6.15am. I looked out the tent and it was dense fog. Couldn't even see the lake edge and I was pretty close to it. I packed up, putting on my wet weather trousers for only the second time the whole journey, anticipating very wet tussock. I went to take down the tent. It was frozen solid. Luckily I had slept in three layers including my puffer jacket so I hadn't been too cold in the night. I started up the first small hill and I climbed above the fog. As I was standing there looking down on it, the sun rose over the mountains. It was stunningly beautiful.
I was so enthralled by the scenery and beauty of everything even the 5km of road walking wasn't an issue. Maori Lakes were equally amazing, and the trail through the tussock covered tundra may just eclipse the Richmond Ranges as a favourite place (but still second to Waiau Pass and Nelson Lakes).
Around lunchtime I came over a saddle to a view of a mountain range with snowy peaks, and in the valley below, completely in the middle of nowhere, the village of Clearwater. It looked so cute but very out of place. I just stopped, sat down and enjoyed the view for an hour.
At this point I noticed the hole in my leggings, which has been there for a couple of months, was on the wrong side. I then realised I had not only put my leggings on backwards, they were also inside out. That's one way to get more wear out of them. I arrived at the pick up point with half an hour to spare. Wayne the shuttle driver arrived shortly after and took me on a quick tiki tour up the road where some of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. Not being a fan I didn't recognise any of it. It was then an hour and a half drive to Geraldine and the least relaxing overnight I have had in a town. Arriving at 6.30pm, I had to shop for my food resupply, have dinner, do my washing, dry my tent, phone home, repack everything and just to add to the pressure there was a spa bath in my room. It was the spa or the blog. Hard choice - well not really. Spa bath it was. So part of this blog has been written a day late, so some details have already been lost as a whole new day of experiences has taken over. On a final note - I passed the 2,300km mark today! Only 700km to go.