Methven Zero

The last day and a half or so I’ve been in Methven. The best part of this was meeting up again with Keaton, Gian-Marco, and Christian! I swear half of the town was TA hikers. At the cafe yesterday there were at least 2 other tables with TA hikers. Most of the people at my hostel are TA. Most of the people at Gian-Marco’s hostel are TA. Neat.

I went to see The Post at the local cinema. New Zealand’s movie theater popcorn is so sad. I didn’t even bother trying the one here it just didn’t look edible. But the theater was small and cute and comfy and the movie was really really good.

Fired off a couple of postcards. Mailed off my food box to Arthur’s Pass.

Oh! And I got my new shoes. Honestly, comparing the old with the new I thought a lot about just sending the new pair on to Hanmer Springs where I’ll be in about 2 weeks. They were beat up but seemed to not be getting much worse. I ended up leaving the old pair in the free box at the hostel, though I’m still a bit sad about this. I kinda wanted to “retire” them but I really don’t want to carry them nor box them up and ship them. So hopefully they’ll end up in a nice new home, or be a home for a rat at the landfill or something. 🙁

I made a new friend too.

So much floof.

Back to the trail tomorrow. Looking forward to it but also a bit anxious about some upcoming weather and if that might delay me doing the Deception River section or not. It’s looking like it might. I’d be very sad about that. But we’ll see in a few days when I get to that area. Ideally I’ll be in Arthur’s Pass in 5 days, then a week on the trail to Hanmer Springs for a day or 2. Nothing but big stretches from here on out. This is what I’ve basically spent the last month training for!

Cyclone Gita zeroes

Due to Cyclone Gita descending on the South Island this week I’m going to take a couple of days off the trail and also skip a short section that is both very vulnerable to bad weather and also logistically quite complex. It’s a short section, so it’s just not worth the effort to stick around and wait just to be able to do it. That being said, here are some of my plans for my days off.

Currently I’m in Geraldine. I need to eventually get up to Methven where my box of spare stuff should be waiting, and then from there it should be straightforward to get to Lake Coleridge to get started on the next leg of the trail, 5 days up to Arthur’s Pass. There’s no direct bus service from Geraldine to Methven. But there is an Intercity bus to Ashburton, about 40 minutes away from here. It’s a larger town than both Geraldine an Methven and more suitable for taking a couple of days off. There’s also a place there I can buy a kindle to replace my dead one which will make me extremely happy you have no idea. Not gonna lie, this is a big factor in this planning.

From there I’ll probably hitch up to Methven on Wednesday, spend the night there and get myself up to the trail Thursday morning. Since the first day is moderately long I’m probably going to try to hire a service rather than hitch because I need to get there reasonably early to get walking. I don’t know what that’ll look like just yet but I’ve got plenty of time to do that over the next few days, between drinking lots of delicious coffee and reading my shiny new kindle!

I’m looking to stay at a backpacker in Ashburton, so hopefully I’ll be able to find some folks to hang out with there!

Lake Tekapo Zero

Today’s mission: clean pack. Fix leak in sleeping pad. Resupply. Find a book. Relax.

Fortunately there’s not a whole lot to do in this town, so I don’t feel compelled to try to cram it all in on my day off. I can just sit in my tent and do nothing and be fine with that. So other than my chores, I can just hang out today and do nothing. And I might do that again tomorrow, but we’ll see.

Just down the road from my campsite there’s a spa with varying pool temperatures. Similar to what was to be found in Iceland but not quite the same thing. I hung out there for a bit and used the actually functional WiFi at the cafe for a bit! Seriously this is the first usable (and free, too!) WiFi I’ve had in like 2 weeks

Edit: I am just now getting around to publishing this. It seems like I stopped mid thought and never came back. Posting for posterity.

Wanaka Zero

Since we got here a day earlier than expected we camped out last night at the holiday park. It was also fairly expensive like the one in Arrowtown, and the ground conditions were way worse, but at least the showers here were free. It was super windy when we arrived last night and setting up tents in the wind was interesting but everyone’s tent seemed to survive the night, hooray. It also rained a bit which meant wet tents in the morning but the sun cave out and got everything dried up nicely!

Today is a national holiday in New Zealand, Waitangi Day. So lots of things were expected to be closed. Seems like most of the stuff in Wanaka is open though, so no delays on that front. I need to go get some arch supports and a new belt for my hiking pants at the local sports shop, buy some groceries for the upcoming 6-7 day stretch, and figure out what I want to do about accommodation on the other side. Also, given that the street after this one is a 50km stretch with 42 of it being along a canal where you can’t camp or do anything else and it’s just a flat gravel road and you have to do it in one day, I’m probably going to contact one of the bike hire services that can drop off a bike for me, haul my pack, and ride that stretch instead of walking it, so I need to line that up.

There’s a legendary movie theater here in town that has fresh cookies, an intermission, interesting seating, including the back seat of an old car, so we’re planning to see Molly’s Game at 8pm, after we have a little bbq / family dinner at the hostel most of us are staying at.

I’ve also heard good things about Puzzling World, so I’d like to check that out. When I was here last year I saw it but assumed it was more kid oriented, but apparently that’s not the case and it’s pretty fun for adults too. It, too is open normal hours today, so that’s awesome.

Fast forward a bit.

Got my arch supports. High confidence. The sports shop I went to had one of those mats that you stand on and it measures your arch and helps pick the right one. Got a pair and they feel pretty good. Since I’ve been walking for so long with bad arch support it’ll take a little getting used to but I feel pretty confident that it’s the right thing. The guy helping me also commented that my shoes were getting pretty worn. 18 days on the trail and they look like they’ve been through a war zone. I sent my replacement pair on to Methven so I’m still about 2 or so weeks away from my new pair. Gotta make these hold together (literally) until then.

Fast forward some more. We went to Puzzling World. Super awesome. The illusions were really nifty and well put together, especially the tilted room which seriously was making me motion sick just trying to walk through it. Then we went to the maze. There are 4 corners in the maze and you have to go to each one. For an extra challenge there’s a particular order to visit them in. The maze had some flyovers to take you between sections, which were part of the maze and gave you a view of the maze to try to strategize. Super super fun. I think I ended up visiting every corner multiple times both trying to find them in the correct order and then trying to get back out. Super fun. And there were puzzles in the cafe area you could try out. Some captured strings, a couple of sliding piece puzzles, etc. Did I mention super fun? Super fun.

After that we wandered over to the supermarket and loaded up a cart with food for dinner. Given that we were 5 hikers we bought way too much food, but managed to eat most of it, somehow. Tomorrow a lot of us are splitting up. Some pushing onward farther than others, some doing side trips, and one taking another rest day in Wanaka. So since it may be the last time we all see each other we had a nice goodbye and dinner.

Afterward we were going to see a movie, but it was sold out! I’m both sad and somewhat relieved. I’m tired. Today was a very packed day off. And I still need to go grocery shopping in the morning before I head out of town for 7 days! I’m really sad I didn’t get to see the theater and its experience, but “I’ll just have to come back”. My FOMO is definitely hitting me hard right now. But I also really want to get back on the trail, so another day in Wanaka isn’t something I want to do. Plus there are zero vacancies in the whole town, at all. Everything is booked up. I could camp at the holiday park but bleh. Onward I must go.

We stopped into the DOC center to see if there wa anywhere to camp between the town of Lake Hawea and the beginning of the next day’s climb but they said it’s all private property and people had been getting huge fines for doing it. Not to mention it’s not a great way to represent the hiker community. Our only choices are to camp at Lake Hawea and go up the next day, or try to push forward and do it all in one go. Which might be doable for a few of this group, but not for this guy.

Anywho, instead of going out for a movie we’re watching Trading Places back at the hostel. Such a good movie.

Queenstown Zero day 2

So. Much. Rain.

Everyone is indoors. And that means all the cafes are slammed. So in the 4 hours between checking out of one hostel and checking in to another, I did a lot of wandering aimlessly.

Fortunately, I also found a hidden not so hidden Internet cafe. Walked in, asked about it since google maps had led me there. Guy pointed to computers on the wall and said have at. No charge. No line. No limits. The library had a huge line, so I’d gone in search of paid but more featureful service and got so much more. This gave me time to fix all of the images from previous posts. If you’ve already read them, go back and look at the pictures! If any are still broken let me know and I’ll fix, but after tomorrow I’m dark again for a few days so it might be a bit!

I also wrote up some more postcards and filed support requests with WordPress and Day One about my woes. Turns out the Day One issue was user error and they got me sussed proper, which I’m very happy about. Now if I can just get WordPress to be so responsive!

Finally I got checked in to my hostel. And oh my did I time it right. 2 huge buses pulled up outside and started dumping people out. The lobby is utter chaos. I’m also glad I got my pack out of the storage room because that had already been super stuffed to the gills, can’t imagine what it will be like in a bit!

Currently I’m laying on my bed doing some reading and coordinating dinner plans with friends. Tomorrow the rain is supposed to stop, so I’ll pretty much hang out until that happens and hit the road. We have a reservation at the holiday park in Arrowtown for a campsite and an appointment with a New World (grocery store) in Frankton along the way for resupply.

At dinner we found out Keaton and crew’s alternate route to Wanaka was closed and they would now be joining us at the campsite in Arrowtown. So happy and sad at the same time. We had some really good Venezuelan food and then some cookie dough and I said my farewells to go to bed.

Tomorrow is a long day and I have a resupply in the middle, so I want to get an early start. But not so early that I’m getting rained on. But it should be fine. I’ve been chomping at the bit all day to get going anyways!

Queenstown zero, day 1

The weather today is quite beautiful. Tomorrow is not so much. So I’ve decided to both stay an extra night in Queenstown to avoid a huge storm coming through, and to try to do any outdoor activities I might want to do today, and leave the errands and indoor stuff for tomorrow.

With that in mind, I scheduled a skydiving trip for 1pm, with a meander out to Queenstown Gardens before, and a trip up the gondola for after, and fill in whatever.

Welp. I went to the gardens. They were lovely. And the view from the point was spectacular.

Afterward I wandered back over to the skydiving shop, sat down and waited for my group to be called. Shortly after the scheduled time, the staff came over and informed us that they’d cancelled the rest of the jumps for the day due to wind. Sad face. Major sad face. Thy had options for us like rescheduling or booking something else, but given the poor weather in the forecast for tomorrow I knew that was out, and Friday I’d be leaving town, so I opted to cancel entirely. There’s a possibility I can make it a day trip from Wanaka but I’ll worry about that when I get to Wanaka.

After I finish my lunch I may meet back up with some folks I’ve been walking with and hanging out at the huts with for the past several days, and take a trip up the gondola for some nice, if much lower than skydiving, views of Lake Wakatipu, which even from the ground is incredible.

Fast forward to late in the evening.

I ended up totally forgetting about the tram. I met up with some friends near the lake, we ventured out in search of food, split apart a bit, I ended up getting some curry at a Japanese place and then we all kinda met again down by the beach and just hung out, relaxed, and talked for a bit.

At some point a guy comes over and wants to join our conversation because he’d heard us talking about radio stuff. Eventually the topic shifted to cryptocurrency of course.

Eventually the guy, after chatting with us for a while, asks us what we think about iPads and Apple products in general. Most of us are using iPhones so clearly we like Apple. He starts in on this rant about how Apple makes it really hard to recover an iPad or iPhone if the previous owner hadn’t released it from their Apple account. It turns out, the context is that he thinks companies should want people using their products no matter how they were acquired. And that Apple “locking people out” is not in Apple’s best interests. I counter that the reason they do it is a theft prevention measure. If someone steals my phone it’s basically useless to them. Sure they can do a hard factory reset with iTunes, but the phone is still registered to me and you can’t undo that without my or Apple’s intervention. He says he doesn’t understand why anyone would want to buy something that’s useless to a thief because it can’t benefit the thief or something. I explain again it’s a theft prevention feature. I like it because it makes it less of a theft target. He says not all thieves know they’re useless. I counter that good thieves will. Clearly this guy isn’t a good thief. All this while he has this iPad he doesn’t have a charger for, and wants to sell it but wants to be able to turn it on to show people that it works. Keeps mentioning things like “finding” iPads or iPhones. Yea. Found. Sure. Meanwhile all of us are quietly putting all our valuables away. I even told the guy it’s just a lightning charger, can get that anywhere. Anywho, I got a kick out of it. Wish I had a better memory of the whole conversation because it was just fascinating how much this guy was pissed that Apple was making it harder for thieves and why would they do that. At some point also he asked about sql injection. “Could you do that and just update the record?” I laughed. If you could, Apple would probably pay you a lot of money to tell them that. Such a funny situation this guy.

Later we were going to all get together for dinner and cook a meal over at Frank’s hostel because it has a huge cooking facility. So we ventured out for groceries and beverages and reconvened around 6. Stir fry was the meal. Rice. Broccoli. Huge pile of mushrooms. Some other random stuff. We all pitched in, put it together and made it happen. The meal was great, but the best part was the conversation and general hanging out.

In fact, one of the most awesome parts was just before we started we had a bit of a saying grace sort of moment. Keaton suggested we share something we’re thankful of. Each of us shared something and it was a really great reflective moment. For me it was that I was thankful for the company and new friends of course but also that despite being very angry with 2 of the people at the table (see profile post later) for several days I’m actually in retrospect one very thankful for knowing them because they’re very cool people, but also, in hindsight, thankful for the push they gave me, even if they weren’t intending to, or if my anger was misdirected or whatever, that in the end, the motivation was actually valuable and that I was thankful. It was kind of a touching moment. Very cool idea.

We broke up shortly after 10 and I realized I’d forgotten about the gondola. Oops.

Since we were all guests at Frank’s hostel the 3 of us left walked back into town. Then Keaton and I ended up having a really deep philosophical conversation for about an hour on a street corner before finally heading our separate ways.

Now I’m in my hostel finishing this post. I’ve had requests to talk about the people I’ve been hiking with so I’m going to try to do like a mall profile post to capture some of the folks I’ve met recently. Also I’ve heard images are all sorts of broken so one of the things on the agenda for tomorrow is to fix that.

Te Anau zero part 2

After coffee I ran over and booked a couple of tours for the day then went grocery shopping. This time still felt fairly chaotic, just indiscriminately throwing things into my basket, but I eventually went back, got a cart, spread out all of the food I’d selected into it, sorted into meals, and found that I was actually fairly close. I needed a few less sauce packets and another box of bars and I’d be set. I also had an entire extra thing of pasta, but I decided to keep that for spare food as it works really nicely with some milk and a sauce packet. It feels really heavy, but it also includes breakfast for tomorrow before I leave and I’ll be eating a fair amount of it tomorrow, so it’ll lighten up quickly.

Afterward I went out on one of the trips I’d booked for the day, an afternoon tea cruise on old sailboat. I’d caught the sailing bug pretty thoroughly in Auckland and decided to see what they had on offer.

The boat was very cool. Lots of history. Nicely kept, etc. being out on the water was fun, and the little guided hike tour in the middle was also quite nice. Yes, I went hiking on my day off. From hiking.

They served afternoon tea and put up the sails, but honestly there wasn’t any real sailing going on. Maybe today wasn’t windy enough, but I also don’t feel like the sails were big enough to make much of a dent trying to move this beast around. Overall it was fun, but I would probably have passed on it in favor of something else had I known more.

One interesting thing I did learn is that the lake here is 450+ meters deep. The bottom is actually 200 meters below sea level! It’s also very clean and pure water. You could drink directly from the lake with no treatment or filtering. Very cool, as someone who drinks primarily wild sourced water at the moment!

Afterward I bumped into the guys I met a couple of huts back. They were also heading out in the morning and they convinced me to do the next section in 4 days instead of the 5 I’d been thinking, which is really more like 3 long days and then a mad dash to get to our shuttle pickup at 10am. Should be interesting. So I booked my shuttle from the trailhead to Queenstown. They also suggested I book my Queenstown accommodation as soon as possible, given how busy it is there right now. Oof. Even further committing me to a 4 day stretch. Welp, I did. There really isn’t much available now but I managed to get a private room near the center of town so, that’s at least sussed.

Then off to my final excursion for the day, a trip to the Te Anau glow worm caves. Earlier today I’d seen a nice catamaran with a bunch of people on it pull up next to us at the dock. Now I’d be riding on it.

A short trip with some commentary and we were out at the cave. Sadly, photography is not allowed inside. Makes sense. They don’t want people dropping phones in the underground river or firing flashes in the pitch black cave. And black it was. The early part of the cave we walked through was really cool. The water flowing through it having carved it out over the last 12,000 year’s after the weight of glaciers from above fractured the ground and forced water through. Then they put us on these little gondolas and took us deeper into the cave, which at this point was pitch black. Darker than I’ve seen in a very long time. And all these little green points of light like the tips of fiber optic tree lights in clumps around the ceiling. Super super cool.

After a solid few minutes of that, back to the roar of the water and the lights in the cave. We were all really quiet in the “sanctuary” part of the cave, and we were still quiet after coming back out. I’d love to lay on a pool float in that cave for a few hours or years. Really cool.

Then some more hiking, of all things and a short presentation with live commentary about the glow worms and what they are: maggots. Multiple times the joke was made “you wouldn’t come to a glow maggot cave”. They’re pretty fascinating creatures, but to be honest I liked the cave and the boat part way better than the actual worms. They were cool, but I was expecting the ceiling to be completely covered in them. Again. Not bad. I would do it again. But as far as expectations vs reality, the cave itself and the boat was way cooler.

So, back to the boat. From below, the cockpit looks like a super high tech command center. Combined with how maneuverable and powerful this thing was, it just felt awesome. I asked nice and they let me hop up and take a picture and I chatted with the skipper a bit. She was controlling the whole thing with what amounts to an Atari joystick in the arm rest of her enormous seat. Super cool.

After getting back to the dock we were treated with a pretty magnificent sunset and then, tired as I am, and wanting to get started in the morning with my walk, I snapped a photo and walked back to my hotel.

I was on both of those boats today!

Now I’m using this last opportunity for WiFi to finish uploading photos and one last email check, then I’m going to bed. No luck finding a ride out to the trail in the morning so I’m gonna walk out to the highway and throw out a thumb and a smile and hope for the best. 4 days from now I’ll be in Queenstown!

Te Anau zero

I’m writing this early in the morning on my zero day in Te Anau, so it may be a bit premature but I didn’t need police involvement last night and probably won’t tonight!

On the docket for today is first and foremost: coffee. When I first came to New Zealand in November 2016, I was not at all aware of their coffee obsession. One of the things I always worry about when I travel is where I’ll be getting coffee. I’m too lazy to carry a rig and make my own, especially because I’d prefer to patronize local coffee shops if available, so finding a good anchor coffee shop wherever I go is a priority. I needn’t worry about that here. When I first landed in Auckland and made it out through customs and such I hooked a left out of the doors of the international terminal and there was a little cart (think Portland food cart) serving coffee. I quickly got in line then quickly realized that my usual: 12oz Americano, was likely to get me a blank look. So I whipped out my phone and frantically tried to figure out what I should order. Next thing I know it’s my turn and the guy behind the counter is looking at me expectantly. “12oz Americano?” I say. The guy behind the counter and the guy who was ahead of me in line both laugh and immediately start taking the piss. Guy behind the counter tells me Starbucks is downtown. I laugh. They inform me that a long black is what I’m after, and after some more culture shock of not needing to sign the receipt and being told “we don’t tip here, mate” I was far less worried about the coffee situation. See, New Zealand loves coffee. Big time. It’s actually harder to find bad coffee here than it is to find good coffee most anywhere else. So I immediately was in love. Evidence to this is the fact that last night the touristy bar, burger place I ate dinner at in a touristy town had a La Marzocco and a competent barista behind the wheel. At a bar. A tourist bar. In a tourist town.

One thing New Zealand also does really well is breakfast. When I was cruising around last year I kept seeing signs advertising “all day breakfast” and thought it was cool there were so many places that always had breakfast. Well, they do. But “all day breakfast” is actually a dish here. It’s called that because it’s all you need to eat all day (unless you’re a TA hiker, then it’s a decent appetizer to first breakfast). It usually has eggs, a huge pile of bacon, grilled mushrooms, hash browns, toast, sausage, and my favorite: grilled tomatoes. Something about the way kiwis cook their tomatoes is just the best. The best ones I had were at a place in Christchurch called The Caffeine Lab, I think they used charcoal or something it had a very nice smokey flavor.

Anyways, so I have in front of me an all day breakfast and a long black and am content with the world.

Also on the docket today is grocery shopping. I need 5 days worth of food for the next leg which will take me to Queenstown. It’s entirely possible I’ll only be taking 4 days to get up there but that means 3 long days in a row so I might break it up a bit more. Really loving that the farther north I get seemingly the more choice I have with regard to day length. Up until this last section it’s fairly rigid where your stopping points are unless you want to try to free camp somewhere but even along most of the route so far that hasn’t been legal, and in many places would have been quite difficult. Plus I like to have water and a toilet nearby at the very least, even if it is just a stream and a long drop (in that order), it feels better than just pitching up any old place. Plus there’s the possibility of running into other hikers along the trail which is always fun!

Aside from that it’s mostly just relax and enjoy the town a bit. I already did laundry. I already hit up the local sports store to replace some gear that either was not working out or I’d burned like an idiot, so most of my errands are done. I got some stamps, need to get some postcards and fire them off.

Likely I’m going to do a Lake Te Anau cruise, glow worm cave, and hit up the bird sanctuary. For food I’ll probably have pizza for dinner, a big milkshake somewhere for lunch and afternoon tea on the lake cruise.

Oh and I still have the rest of that 6 pack of coke to drink. I tell you, with a huge shoutout to /r/hailcorporate, there’s very little as satisfying as an ice cold coke when I get done hiking for the day. I’ll be including some in any resupply boxes I send out going forward just to have on hand when I arrive, along with Tim Tams.

I’ll post some pictures later. It’s super super pretty here. Lots of tourists but it seems like a pretty chill, laid back kind of place. I like it a lot.

Nightcaps zero

Yesterday I decided I wanted to head into nightcaps to resupply and fix my food and water situation, as well as to take a rest day and take care of some blistering on my feet. So, I did. The road to Birchwood Station is fairly low traffic so I started walking. After nearly reaching Ohai I finally nabbed a ride from a nice lady whose name I can’t remember sadly.

I got to nightcaps, got what I needed from the store and stepped out onto the sidewalk and took a seat on the bench in front of the city hall to wait for the pub up the street to open which I’d heard has rooms available. I called my dad on the phone to check in and say hi, and while I was talking to him a lady approached and asked if I was looking for a place to stay and invited me over. Hearing nothing but great things about Kiwi hospitality, especially Maori hospitality, I decided to go for it.

When I walked in my gut was telling me something was wrong. The place was reasonably clean but shabby as all get out, half broken furniture, an old crt tv in the living room, and it was just this young couple living there. They seemed nice enough and I’m trying not to judge how people live, combined with a large heap of “how do I politely decline after getting the walk through”. I didn’t see any bed bugs or needles so, whatever.

My goal for the day was to resupply, fix a couple of things, treat some wounds and lay in bed and watch trashy tv all day. This was mostly what was on offer here so I took advantage.

Later in the evening we walked over to the pub, I got a burger and fries takeaway and we walked a couple of houses further down to one of their friends’ place where we hung out and played pool and listened to music in his garage. Despite the ignorantly racist jokes the guy kept making about Compton, he seemed like an alright guy.

Then 8pm rolls around and I want to get to bed, I need to get up early and eat breakfast then try to hitch a ride back to the trail, so I want to get to bed early and get some sleep. All is well. I probably end up falling asleep for good around 10:30 after doing some pre packing and reading while trying to fall asleep.

At some point in the night I realize there’s a party going on now in the house. It seems mostly contained to the rear part of the house but the music is making it through to my room. I’m fairly annoyed by this but whatever, I try to tune it out and go back to sleep.

That’s when things start to get interesting.

At some point I hear what sounds possibly like arguing. Or fighting. Not being sure and thinking maybe it’s just drunk people wrestling (I’ve done it) and faffing about, I try to put it from my mind and keep trying to sleep.

A little later and it’s clear this is not just faffing about. Given that I don’t know how many people are out there and what’s going on, I grab my phone and call the police. While I’m on with the dispatcher, the guy of the couple comes into my room, clearly quite drunk; and says something to me, then says get up, and walks out of the room. Fortunately I’d decided to hide next to the bed on the floor and I don’t know if he saw me or what. One of the reasons I had hidden is it originally sounded like maybe the argument was between the couple and maybe about my presence, so I did not want to get in the middle of it. At some point she comes in and says I’m fine and closes the door. Meanwhile I’m still on the phone with the dispatcher. Things seem to calm down a bit and then more fighting begins. At this point it sounds like it’s between 2 guys and she says something about “you’re bleeding” and I mention this to the dispatcher. Eventually the dispatcher advises me to try to get out the window if I can. So I grab my pants which are right next to the window, conveniently, and out I go. I run about half way down the block in my skivvies and duck into a storefront area to wait for the police to arrive. At some point the fight spills outside as I hear the woman yelling but I think it’s behind the house and I’m just staying away.

The police eventually arrive and I talk to them for a few minutes. At this point I think the people involved have either left or whatever as things seem to have calmed down. The cop enters the house and starts talking to the folks while I hastily pack up my shit and prepare to gtfo. One last look around the room and I’m convinced I have everything, so I walk out into the hallway and out the front door. The couple seemed to be playing off that they were just going to bed and that things had calmed down. The cop seemed way more interested in my safety than whatever was going on between them. I just wanted to leave and would leave it up to him to do his job.

Out the door and into the car and off we go. I tell him the story of me doing the TA, and how I even came to be sleeping in these folks’ house and we have a bit of a laugh. He says that address is known to him and that I pretty much lucked into the worst place I could have gone. Oops!

So, here I am, in a garage behind the police station in Ohai, NZ, my gear spread out around me, 4am almost certainly not going to be able to get any sleep, writing this entry.

Both the cop and the dispatcher were letting me know I shouldn’t treat this as a typical example of Kiwi hospitality and I got quite the laugh. Great folks, all. I don’t remember the dispatcher’s name but the cop’s name was Chris.

Oh, and after I started kinda unpacking at the police station I realized I didn’t have my medicine. He went back over, didn’t find it, came back, let me know, I told him where else it might have been. It had been on the table I defenestrated myself over next to my pants so I would see it and remember to take it in the morning while packing up. I suggested maybe it was outside the window. So back he went, saying if he found it he’d bring it to me and if not he’d be back around 8am and I could come in to the station for coffee and such. About 15 minutes later I hear him roll up. Sure enough, it had gone out the window with me. Yay!

So yea. Now I try to sleep a bit before morning. I have 2 chairs, no power, and a concrete floor. Good times.

What saddens me is the day had been going so well, I even got a group selfie with a bunch of us, but now I can’t post it. Oh well.

TL;DR: I don’t have as far to hitch in the morning to get back to the trail.