• Kay

Day 162 and 163 Arriving in Wanaka and COVID-19

Saturday 21 March

Lake Hawea to Wanaka

Start 9am

Finish 4pm

Distance 25km

Total 2585km

Elevation : None

Weather: Overcast then rain just as I arrived in Wanaka

Nothing much to report for this day, mostly because I am writing it two days later. Never a good plan.

The trail between Lake Hawea and Wanaka is very easy, with no elevation alongside rivers. The Upper Clutha River is incredible. According to an information sign it is one of the few clear glacier fed rivers in the world. They are usually cloudy. It was a spectacular aquamarine colour.

I arrived in Wanaka, and was checked in by a very vigilant motel owner. After I used the pen and eftpos machine they were both wiped down with an antibacterial wipe. I then looked at the news. I couldn't bury my head any more and have now had to seriously consider if continuing the trail is advisable or even permitted.

DOC has not yet closed the huts or trails except for the Great Walks, and as I rarely come across anyone (out of choice) I will continue. While in Wanaka I have not gone out other than to go to the supermarket for resupply and a store to buy a balaclava for the forecasted snow. I stayed more than 1m from anyone (the streets were fairly deserted anyway), and sanitized my hands any time I touched anything.

I have checked in and consulted with colleagues, friends and family and I have exit points if needed, and Dave will drive down and pick me up so I am not taking any public transport. I am also limiting my resupply points and will join a few sections to do 8 days straight to avoid towns once I am beyond Queenstown.

Who could have ever imagined that something like this would be the thing the could prevent me from finishing.

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