• Kay

Day 157 I can feel winter coming

Monday 16 March Twizel to Lake Ohau DOC campsite Distance 29km Total 2,472km Steps 47,087 Elevation: nothing much really Weather: sunny, but with a cool wind A day that was far from being my favourite. For the first time this whole journey I was looking forward to getting to the end and not having to wake up each day and walk. I think part of the feeling related to knowing I can no longer just take as much time as I want. Nothing to do with the escalating knock on effects of the Covid 19 virus, although it was a shock to watch the news this morning, more to do with the weather. It is getting really quite cold, and the days are noticeably much shorter. I am also tired of being in pain. I'm very grateful for my warmer sleeping bag, and currently wrapped up in it, along with my long John's, and I'm thinking I still need another layer. It is pretty windy, which is not usually an issue, but it is a cold wind. I am grateful to have some protection under some pine trees. Today was pleasant enough. The lakes were beautiful and the trail easy. Long though. Met three other TA walkers and a number of cyclists as we followed the Alps2Ocean cycle trail for a bit. Everything hurt today. The usual suspects, my feet, but also my shoulders and hips from the pack. The padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt of the pack have become so narrow and compacted they now dig into me. I also think the loss of weight has meant the pack no longer fits as well as it used to. I haven't stood on any scales for quite some time, but the way I need to use the pack waist belt to hold up my leggings let's me know the weight loss has been significant. Clearly need to eat more...chocolate.

I have sacrificed my sit mat to make more padding, which did help a bit today. Unfortunately the sit mat was also showing significant wear and compression so hasn't offered quite the level of extra padding I was hoping for. Will need to sort it properly when I get to Wanaka. My gear is really coming to the end of its life. After five months of constant use it is hardly surprising. I'm camping at the Lake Ohau DOC campsite , and was snuggled into my sleeping bag by 7pm. Partly due to the cold, and a lot to do with exhaustion. I have no particular plan for tomorrow. It is back onto proper tramping tracks, with the day starting with an 800m climb, minimal track markings and a stream as the route. So likely to be slow but stunning, and I will camp wherever there is a flat enough spot. I hope I will get my mojo back. Maybe I shouldn't have watched the news this morning. Living in blissful ignorance is a blessing. I hope the wind dies down. It is getting seriously windy out there and as the ground was too rocky for all the pegs and the tent is held down in part by some rocks.

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