• Kay

Day 149 If only I could dress myself

Sunday 8 March

Camp Stream Hut to Takapō (Tekapo)

Start 7.45 am

Finish 4.40pm

Distance 34km

Total 2,389km

Steps 53,842

Elevation Climb 200m, descent 800m

Weather: mostly overcast and drizzling, some heavier rain and a little sun

I had a remarkably good sleep and although it rained a little overnight, as I set off this morning the rain was holding off.

Lake Takapō

Today was a big one for me - 34km of which 13km was road. Fortunately there was only one steep uphill of about 200m. Otherwise the general trajectory was a very gentle downhill to Lake Takapō. For those questioning the spelling, Takapō is correct. Tekapo isn't a word in Māori. Takapō means "to leave in haste at night", and is based on a legend of two chiefs leaving under the cover of darkness only to be caught by the rising sun. I'm loving what I am learning about NZ on this walk.

The trail map today was constantly inaccurate. I back tracked half a kilometer at one point to find the trail over a ridge according to the map. Erin, his daughter Helena and I couldn't find it. There was a well worn and well marked trail further on, it just didn't follow what was on the TA map and notes. This continued throughout the day and the signs at each track start said it was the TA, it was just the map that didn't. There was a section where the map suggested an impossible climb down a bluff into a ravine. I carried on the marked track.

For the most part it was a very well worn track. What I found amusing was how narrow it was. About the width of a car tyres. Clearly most people must walk placing one foot directly in front of the other. I'm not one of those people. I walk with my feet landing slightly less than hip width apart. This makes the very narrow track uncomfortable to walk on. There appeared to be a few of us wider walkers as in many places, parallel to the worn track was a much less warm track, which was considerably wider. The strange things that occupy my mind at times is in itself entertaining for me.

Around mid morning I realised I once again had trouble dressing myself this morning. The t shirt was on inside out and back to front this time. Oh for the good old days when I could actually successfully dress myself!!

I arrived at the road and met Erin's wife Sue who had come to pick him and Helena up. She kindly gave me a ginger beer as I sat down for a break and some lunch. Erin and Helena arrived about 15 minutes later. In the meantime it started to rain properly.

They offered me a lift to Takapō. I was so very, very tempted. Instead I carried on walking, continuing to debate with myself whether the notion of 'walking every step' was at times a sensible one.

Still with at least a couple of hours to go, I hit the wall. Luckily I had cell phone reception and I had lovely long chats with Chontelle and Dave to help get me through the next hour.

Finally I arrived in Takapō. Absolutely spent and feet aching. I checked into my accommodation, took a very long bath, sat down on the couch and I haven't moved. Everything can wait until tomorrow.

Erin (from Nelson) and me at Camp Stream Hut

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