Twig Adventures

Day 73: An easy day after town

February 13th SH7 (km2104) – Hope Kiwi lodge (km2120.5) Mileage: 10.3mi/16.5km The gravitational pull of town was hard to break away from. I woke around 6 am feeling hungry. I ate some from my resupply but then went to a cafe for a meat pie and cream bun. Both tasted highly caloric, so I was pleased. I went back and took a shower and did some other chores. Suddenly it was already 10 am. I needed to blow this joint. Tuomas, Anna and I set out. Dan, Tom and Sam stayed for another day. We walked for a little over 1 km outside of town looking for a ride. Then a car pulled over and we couldn’t believe our eyes,[…]

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Day 72: How a Zero should be done

February 12 th Hanmer Springs Mileage: 17.4mi/km This was the best zero yet, as it finally involved some pampering. I had gone on a website called Bookme that has deals and discounts, similar to Groupon. I had found a 1 hour massage deal for $62, so that was what I had planned for 10 am. It was pretty good and relaxing. I also got a daily petting with Ginger the cat. She was over 20 years old, very thin and her fur a bit unkempt but just as sweet as could be. My daily pettings have been suffering on the SI, as I’ve been mostly walking in the forests. After that, I had a huge lamb souvlaki, which is like[…]

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Day 71: A great day to stay in a hut, but…

February 11th Anne Hut (km2067) – Boyle Village (km2095) Mileage: 17.4mi/28km Town was calling. More importantly, a soak in a hotsprings was calling. But the rain was coming down heavy in the morning, as predicted. The hut was so nice and new (2011), I really could have stayed there the whole day. I had plenty of food. But I would have been alone, as everyone else was packing up pretty early. I still took it easy, not leaving until around 8 am. The Finns and D&T all set out at the same time, so we got a couple of cute group photos in our rain gear. The umbrella came in really handy today. I got too hot in my rain[…]

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Day 70: Walking Fever

February 10th Blue Lake Hut (km2025) – Anne Hut (km2067) Mileage: 26.1mi/42km I have an illness. It makes me want to walk for 14 hrs straight, soaking up as much of the most spectacular scenery that I can pack into one day. And I may have passed this illness onto others, who, truth be told, were probably already infected. We all have the Walking Fever. It’s not quite the same as the Walking Dead, because we’re pretty good at crossing water. And we feed off chocolate, granola bars, and caffeine, not brains. But I felt just about dead by the end of this day. I did one of the hardest climbs on the trail, then walked another 26 kms in[…]

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Day 69: Earning some R&R

February 9th Upper Travers Hut (km2009.5) – Blue Lake Hut (km2025) Mileage: 9.6mi/15.5km plus 3km walking to and from Lake Constance. I found the motivation to get an early start today…anxious to get away from a noisy hut. People were apparently up talking until 11:30 pm, at which point one TA hiker asked them to kindly shut up. Thru-hikers almost always go to bed early since they are always tired. I was thankfully asleep through all this since I had wisely donned earplugs and taken a benadryl. But the snoring roused me in the morning, by which time I had to get up to alleviate my bladder anyways. I was happy to see it was already 5 am…I had slept[…]

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Day 68: Welcome to Nelson Lakes

February 8th St Arnaud (km1980) – Upper Travers Hut (km2009.5) Mileage: 18.3mi/29.5km As usual, thoughts of things I needed to do woke me up early…5 am! Eating was high on my list. I wanted to reduce some of the food I had to carry on this next leg. I also needed to upload pictures and post about 4 days worth of blogs. I stayed in the cabin right up until checkout time at 10 am, then finally hit the trail. Look at my pack next to Magnus’s…he’s a big guy! It started right out the back of the property and wound down behind the town to Lake Rotoiti.   Looking up the lake and valley that the trail follows was[…]

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Day 67: A big finale for the Richmonds

February 7th Hunters Hut (km1941) – St Arnaud (km1980) Mileage: 24mi/39km Today was another day of great weather so I decided to make the most of it by putting in a huge effort. Yes, I was already feeling a bit worn from the 4 previous hard days. I probably should have just stayed at the last hut but some rain was forecasted for late Saturday through Sunday and I am already thinking ahead to the next section. There are a couple of big passes and river crossings that would be great to get through while the weather is still so nice. I left the hut around 7:40 am, even though I swear each day that I am going to get[…]

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Day 66: Exceptionally Beautiful

February 6th Tarn Hut (km1917) – Hunters Hut (km1941) Mileage: 15mi/24km Well, I got one perfect day in the Richmond Range, so I am a most happy and grateful camper. It looked like it might be another mixed bag when I set off from the hut at 7:40 am. I was flying solo, as everyone else was taking different routes or paces. The wind was still a bit strong and it was partly cloudy. A short climb warmed me up right away. The route called for a descent to the Wairoa River valley, then following the river up to the headwaters below the red hills, then a traverse over another alpine section. I made it down to the river in[…]

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Day 65: If you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes, it will change

February 5th Slaty Hut (km1896) – Tarn Hut (km1917) Mileage: 13mi/21km This day involved a little bit of everything these rugged mountains have to offer. I was first surprised when I went outside early morning to use the bathroom. The moon and stars were out…clear skies! They held until dawn and I was quite excited when I left the hut at 8 am. It was also quite cold…low 50’s and maybe into the 40’s overnight. Everyone left around the same time and I matched Brian’s pace, since his pack is even smaller than mine. He is from Seattle, WA and did most of the PCT. He is just doing a quick stop in NZ on his way home from Asia.[…]

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Day 64: Rain and Clouds

February 4th Rocks Hut (km1871) – Slaty Hut (km1896) Mileage: 15.5mi/25km It was one of those mornings where I didn’t want to get out of bed. It was quite cold and drizzly. We all left the hut kind of late around 8:30 am. I started out in my rain gear, then popped the umbrella. I stay so much warmer when I can leave it up. One of my clips got ripped off during the ferry ride but I am still able to rig it to my pack. We went through an open section of tussock but got nothing but white-sheet views. At the bottom of the trail, Dan had decided to walk out towards Nelson. He is missing his mate,[…]

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