Today was just a short day. Given how I’ve been doing vs the DOC time estimates for sections, the 3-4 hours this section was meant to be I wanted to plan for 5. So for the past several days I’ve been stressing over this day. I have a shuttle picking me up at 10am and a 5 hour walk to get there. Fortunately I decided I didn’t really care and if I missed the shuttle so what.
We arrived at the carpark at 9am. Oops!
This morning I got up early. I’ve been setting alarm for 5am but this morning I was actually out of bed at 5am. I had mostly packed everything last night so just needed to pack up my sleeping stuff, change into trail clothes, chow some food and roll. We left at 5:45am. Still dark out. Using headlamps and my phone light to get down the trail.
About halfway in I got a surge of energy. We had plenty of time, and I was feeling good. I basically took off running and was just flying down the trail. Nice smooth beautiful trail. Frank, the guy who had been pushing me so much the day before, was now the one being pushed. He kept commenting on how fast I was going. It felt great. I dunno. Maybe the idea that I’d be done with the day well before noon was calling to me. Maybe it was the burger or pizza or whatever. I didn’t finish super strong, sadly. My left foot started hurting from the rocks. I’m thinking about hitting up a shoe store here to see if there’s an insole that can help with some extra padding under my feet. Rocks just destroy my feet and the last 4 days have been quite the mix of gravel, rocks, and other stuff, but mostly gravel and rocks.
At the carpark we met up with a couple of other people who had been doing some of the other trails in the area, had a chat with them, and all boarded the shuttle together.
One lady commented: all TA hikers talk about is gear and food, eh? We’d been talking about tents and cutting tags off and shaving grams, then started in on the food we wanted to eat once we got to Queenstown.
The shuttle was awesome. It’s like a 12 passenger van they take the back row of seats out for storage, but nothing super rugged. And then they drove it down this washboard road complete with fairly large rock berms and a handful of stream crossings. Think off roading with a minivan full of hungry smelly adults. It was great.
I was dying for a beverage so I asked if we could make a pit stop. Sadly no coke but I did get a karma cola and that was just perfect.
After arriving in Queenstown a bunch of us went for burgers and now I’m at my hostel waiting to check in. And to get WiFi. So I can upload this post. I may go skydiving. I really want to, but the weather may not cooperate. It’s lovely now, but I really want to do laundry and take a shower, so skydiving will likely be a tomorrow thing. We’ll see though.