words with kitchen

real life adventures of an aspiring adult

Day 23: Ahuriri River to Lake Ohau Lodge

My tent survived the night. I made an adjustment, which was to stake out the headroom on the windward side to hopefully prevent it from becoming concave and pushing the tent inward. The reason this is even a thing is because one of my stakes bent all out of whack from trying to push it into rocky soil so I am down a stake. The change seemed to have done the trick, woohoo!

However, it didn’t stop the rain. The rain that started before I woke up. The rain that rained all the way to East Ahuriri Hut, the hut marked “derelict” on the map, with no real obvious looking way to get to it, but it’s called out on the TA notes. The rain that rained all the way to the top of the hill. The rain that rained all the way across the bog at the top, meaning for a good hour or so I was walking through ankle deep water about 20% of the time. And sometimes going knee deep into holes. That’s fun.

The rain that kept raining all the way down the hill on the other side. Through the really nice forest section dotted by not just stream crossings but, today, stream walking. The rain that kept raining all the way from the bottom of the hill to where the trail splits off from the bike trail it has been following for a mile or so.

The rain that kept raining while I was trying to see if Lake Ohau Lodge had a room and yes I’ll have dinner and breakfast and thanks I’ll be there in 45 minutes.

The rain that kept raining the whole 45ish minutes it took me to walk along the Alps2Ocean bike trail from where it left the TA to the Lodge. The rain that kept raining all the way up the driveway to the lodge reception. The rain that’s still raining right now, as I lay in my bed, waiting for dinner time to come, with my tent hanging up in the shower and my dripping backpack hanging out in the tub.

The rain.

So, as you might be able to tell, it rained a bit today. Yep. But for whatever reason I felt like a champion. Yesterday was a longer day than I was expecting but it felt good to make the progress I did. I wasn’t originally planning to get here today, but in large part due to the rain, I pushed through to the finish. I was totally soaked and didn’t feel like trying to get into my tent while all wet and try not to get everything that isn’t wet already wet, so I just pushed onward. These past 3 days have been long days, but honestly they’ve been really great days. It’s like my legs suddenly decided that what we are doing is ok. I’ve had a bit of pain in my right foot that has me limping a bit in the mornings, but by the end of today I was practically running down the trail.

So it’s fine that I’m treating myself a bit tonight. This place isn’t cheap, but it’s not terrible. And it’s reasonably nice. And definitely what I needed. Worth it.

Because of the rain my phone was mostly unusable today. The touch screen doesn’t really function that well when it’s covered in water, case or no case. Plus the lens kept getting wet and there wasn’t a dry spot on me to try to wipe it. I tried a few times. Unsure how they came out. Anyways the reason I mention this is because I don’t have a lot of pictures for today!

One good thing about the rain though is it makes lots of waterfalls come out to play. Some of them had what looked like would be great swimming holes at the foot. I was already cold and wet enough as it was though. And on a mission. I only took my pack off twice all day. Once to refill my water bottles and once when I was coming down the back side of the hill, decided I wanted to drop my pack for a minute. I don’t think I even sat down until after my shower. Crazy.

Tomorrow I hope to be handing off my pack and riding a bicycle for the next 2 days. The next stop is Twizel, which is just a day’s walk, but the next stretch is to Tekapo, which is about 18km to a campground, followed by 42km walking next to a canal. No camping. No swimming in the canal. Flat. Boring. Bleh. The canal is really cool, to be certain. It’s literally the bluest water I’ve ever seen in my life. But you really only need about 5 minutes to take it in, and then you’re done. But have 42km to go. Yeah nah.

So I’ve employed the services of a local bike rental place, they’ll drop the bike off tomorrow and haul my pack to Twizel, then they’ll pick up my pack again the next day and take it to Tekapo. Pretty sweet setup. And this lodge is at the end? Of the Alps2Ocean bike trail, so I’ll take that into Twizel tomorrow, should be fun!

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