Day 91 (Thurs 18 Feb): Lower Princhester hut to Te Anau
Started 7.05am, finished 8.20am, 6k.
Pain in the head status: No pain and a beautiful sleep. I read an article today about how ginger capsules can work well in treating migraine- I’ve never heard of this or tried them, so bought some from the pharmacy at Te Anau and they are now in my pharmacopoeia (collection of drugs).
Word of the day: Martinet, very strict disciplinarian or stickler for rigid regulations.
I somehow managed to delete my blog post from Colac Bay to Merrivale (apologies to those who commented on it – I do appreciate your comments!) Reinstating it was a bit of a palaver and to prevent such confusions again, Tony has become the blog martinet, only allowing me to download photos for the blog under strict conditions, when they are about to be attached to the text. We’ll see if his rules avert any more blog mishaps.
As for the trail, we had an easy stroll from Lower Princhester hut to the highway leading to Te Anau, where Tracknet transport picked us up around 9am. We were the only passengers on the bus and the driver quizzed us about the Te Araroa and told us that it was only kiwi trampers that were keeping his bus company going; the others who relied on foreign tour groups were struggling, with the number of bus trips dramatically slashed. This is the time to visit Milford sound without the crowds.
We hung out at the best cafe in Te Anau, the Sandfly, until our cabin at the top 10 holiday park was ready. Then it was the usual round of clothes washing, showering, spreading out our gear all over the room, checking out our food supplies, grocery shopping, looking at emails and messages, getting up to date on the news, finding dinner. After all that exhausting activity, it was time for an ice cream then off to bed.
Day 92 (Fri 19 Feb): Te Anau (rest day)
We had wanted to add on the Routeburn track to our Te Araroa trip, as Tony has only done part of this before- I’ve done it twice but it is one of my favorite walks so I would happily do it again. This isn’t part of the TA as in usual times the Routeburn huts and campsites are booked out months in advance. But in COVID times, it looked like we could snap up a campsite at short notice. However, when we checked the weather, heavy rain was forecast for the exact dates we would be on the Routeburn – and camping. My camping philosophy is that if one can avoid tenting in the rain, then this will make me a happy camper. We put off the Routeburn for another time, sticking to the TA trail proper, which meant we could get out to Queenstown before the rain started. With that plan in place, we booked in transport, since the trail leaves us stranded at the end of the Greenstone track. After all that planning, a chocolate brownie from the Sandfly cafe was in order.
My trail angel moment: On the way to Telford campsite, we passed a SOBO walker who asked me to look out for the white cup she’d left behind at Aparima hut. She seemed very attached to it so I brought it out with me to Te Anau and posted it on to her home address. I’m certain she’ll get home before the cup does though, given past experience with NZ Post. It can take two weeks for a parcel from Wellington to reach Auckland – what about a parcel from Te Anau to Takaka? I’m betting a month….