Autumn seems to have arrived, with a lazy sun sometimes not bothering to shift the low mist until mid-morning. Being NZ, the middle of the day is still bright and sometimes scorching. But the mornings are cold and rising from slumber to take down a tent sopping with dew is not too enticing. Possibly the solution is to wake up later?
This section of track went from gorgeous sub-alpine forest, to wonderful alpine meadow, alongside two chilly looking lakes, and finally along a river through farmland to a quiet road. For the first month on the TA, my head was so clear, because I was so focussed on the essentials and on not making mistakes that there wasn’t room for anything else. Now that that’s almost second nature, at least on easy tracks, my brain has allowed back in other thoughts. This is nice because I can hold a conversation about things other than tramping again. But it’s not nice because then I have to listen to myself all day. So on day 2 I shut off my brain completely using Radio 4 podcasts, overdosing on Analysis episodes about Brexit, Northern Ireland, the ozone layer and non-binary gender. Nothing like a little light audio relaxation to take your mind off things.
Yesterday, for the first time, I had thoughts of quitting the trail. It came on unexpectedly, after so long never wanting the trail to end. Maybe it was the 15km pushing through long grass. Maybe it was waking up in a wet tent, again. Maybe it was the slightly boring farm track. Maybe it was because my peanut butter supplies got dangerously low. Maybe I was lonely. Maybe I was tired. So I decided to take a rest and indulge in all the coffee and slices Te Anau could supply me.
Success! I am content again. Next up, two muddy forests in damp weather. I have taken precautionary measures and bought bourbon.
HOW I SPENT MY DAYS
65 hitched from Glenorchy to Greenstone Car Park. From there to Taipo Hut 23km (Incl 2km on road before got hitch) 7.5hrs 800m ascent (all gradual)
66 Taipo Hut to Mavora Camping Area 28km 9.5hrs
67 Mavora Camping Area to km 2754.5 26.5km 8hrs15
68 km2754.5 to SH94 4.5hrs 15.5km (hitched to Te Anau)
STATS OF THE TRACK
Huts with double mattresses: 2/3 (but only stayed in one. Error)
Clothes worn in bed on a clear night with a southerly: ALL OF THEM
Mornings woke up in soaking tent due to rain and/or dew: 3/3
Inconvenient cows on track: 1
Spiders in tent: still none
Vitamins consumed: many (thanks Antonia for the Berocca!)