Day 2: Invercargill to Riverton

Back on the trail for day 2! Pack is very heavy. I’m carrying too much food I think. Oh well. Off to walk the road for about 10k and then beach forever. The sunrise was super nice.

Finally got to the beach and did the obligatory beach writing and selfies.

It was set to be a great day! Not supposed to be too hot. Supposed to rain so it was going to be cloudy which I’m all for. I picked up a buff yesterday at sporting store and made great use of it to protect my face from the sun! It was awesome!

My main obstacle for the day was to be the crossing at Waimatuku Stream. The trail notes say it’s best to time it so you make his crossing at low tide. Low tide this morning was 7:30am, so that wasn’t going to happen, but I still hit the trail pretty early and made it to the crossing by 10:30. An RV that passed me earlier was there at the crossing and I borrowed some shade for a minute before I found some other shade to use.

All in all I was fairly underwhelmed by the stream crossing. The notes made me think it was going to be some raging torrent that would only really be safe at low tide. It was just above my ankle deep.

However, as the day progressed, the tide came in more and more. Remember, low tide was 7:30am so the tide is coming in. Which means my beach is slowly shrinking.

Eventually it got so bad that I could barely walk. The wet sand was too soft and was constantly getting waves crashing on it. There were places where the beach looked like a scalloped knife blade with water pushing farther up the beach between berms of extremely loose rock. So it was a constant weaving back and forth along the beach, between soft sand and loose rock. Terrible footing. There was some dry sand further up the beach but dry sand is about the worst possible thing to try to walk any distance in. I think if that was my only option I would just sit down and wait out the tide.

It seems that the low tide hint was much more about the beach part than the river crossing part. I’ll try to avoid making that mistake again! Fortunately, tomorrow’s the last beach walk on the trip.

Because of my fatigue and grumpiness setting in, I didn’t take any pictures on that section of the beach. I just wanted to be done. My feet hurt. I was tired. I was thirsty. I was hungry but no real appetite. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a paved road in my whole life when I made the turn off of the beach and into town.

Tonight I’m at the Monkey’s Backpacker, which is a total steal at $20nzd for a bunk. It sure as hell ain’t fancy, but it’s cheap, the bed is clean, and the WiFi is actually pretty damn good.

Now I’m off to get some soap so I can wash my clothes and get them hung up to dry.

Tomorrow’s only a short day on the beach, but the high tide is right in the middle of the day. So I’m not certain if I’m gonna get up early and bust it out, or stay late to catch the tide going out in the afternoon. Judging by how my feet feel right now, it’ll be in the afternoon, but we’ll see later!

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