Back on trail... haha so funny
During the day that the ex-cyclone Gita hit the country, on the 21st of February, we were hiding in a backpacker in Akaroa. We spent our 2 days reading near the fire. It was awesome.
On Friday, before taking our bus to Geraldine, I go to the osteopath. My back is painful again. Hiking with that condition? No way!
We decide that I will stay in Geraldine while Marie hikes the next section with a young German guy, Vito.
Honestly? It feels horrible to see her going back on trail while I have to stay and rest. Luckily, the hosts at my backpacker are sweet people. It warms me up. And it's a good exercise for me to have to overcome the frustration and make the most of my forced stay here. I go to the cinema, I buy some cheese, I practice yoga with a DVD and I buy some wine for my evening meals. My stay eventually becomes a pleasant experience.
|Stag Saddle, where Marie-Laure went while I stayed in Geraldine|
I join Marie-Laure in Lake Tekapo, on Tuesday. We will cycle the section between here and Twizel. It's 60 kilometers, but without backpacks, on a flat or slightly descending cycle trail. My back is taped and it's going all right.
We hike without backpack on an easy but steep trail. It leads us to a place from where we stand just in front of a glacier. Magic.
My back behaves, provided I go very slowly and stretch every 30 minutes.
In the afternoon, we go by car with our friends to another lake. We see it under the rain and the sun. Hello Rainbow!
Before going back to the campground, we stop at "the Old Mountaineers". The pub was created by a family of mountaineers about 20 years ago, after a long fight against the big hotel that had the monopoly before that. The woman is also a writer. I spend some time reading her autobiography.
It goes well. Slowly, but nicely, with a break at the salmon farm. 23 kilometers on a flat and easy trail. However, before we reach Lake Ohau campground, I feel to tired and we decide to pitch the end on a grassy area next to the lake.
Talking about mattress, the situation becomes concerning : before, my mattress would deflate a little during the night; but it is now a real problem as I have to reinflate it multiple times during the night.
In the early afternoon, the rain stops and the sun appears. Soon, it dries the tent and we decide to head further, to the official campground. That's only 7 kilometers away. We stop en route to pick apples on wild trees.
We arrive at the campground and spend a friendly evening, between the arrival of our friend Arne and a cup of tea with a lady staying in a neighboring campervan.
We jump in the tent, completely wet and cold. We get rid of our clothes, dry the inside of the tent with the remaining dry part of our t-shirts, and disappear deep into our sleeping bags.
At noon, we take a break on a scree slope where we can dry everything : clothes, tent, sleeping bags, shoes,...
|In the middle of nowhere|
Did I told you about sandflies already? They are very small flies, a bit bigger than the Scottish midges. But they bite badly because they would cut a piece of skin before drinking our blood. The good news is that they sleep when it's the night.
|Timaru river trail|
|"View" from Martha Saddle|
When we wake up on Saturday 10th March, we realize that it was so cold during the night that it left some frost on the vegetation.
|Climbing to Stody's hut|
Around 4:30, we reach Breast Hill, from where we enjoy stunning views on Lake Hawea and the snowy peaks of Mount Aspiring National Park.
Luckily, we meet a guy in Hawea's street that offers some help and we end up in his bathroom. Well, only for the purpose of checking where the air leaks, with the help of his bath. Obviously. Leakage found. I'm so happy. I can repair it now! My night life will drastically improve, all the hopes are permitted (sorry, translation from a French expression).
Monday morning, we wake up and I must say that another bath will be needed for my mattress. However, the situation is better, I had to reinflate it only twice instead of 5 times a night.
We hike on a flat and easy trail to Wanaka, where the Frogs sent us our hiking maps for the next section at Mark's house. Mark is the boss of Ridgeline adventure and he agreed to keep it for us. But that's not the end of the story. He also invited us to stay at his place and to have dinner with him and his family. When he gives us the choice between tenting on his lawn and using the spare bedroom, we don't hesitate long and we accept the beds with gratitude.
We finish the trail to the centre of Wanaka without backpacks (it feels so light!), have a bier with our friends Arne (it's his last day on the trail) and come back to Mark's house. We meet his wife, Ceri and their 2 boys. We spend a relaxing evening, talking about travels and hiking, before crashing in our beds for a well deserved night of sleep.