Twig Adventures

Day 77: Arthur’s Pass rain zero

February 17th Arthur’s Pass Villiage Mileage: about 3km walking to and from punchbowl waterfall and around town. I slept a bit fitfully overnight. First I was worried about the wind. I pitched my tent as close to some trees for a wind block but my tent was still getting shaken pretty badly. The DOC office later told me that they had gusts of about 60 mph. To add to the suspense over the wind, I would occasionally confuse a passing truck for a strong gust. Oh no, here comes another big one, then no, just a truck on the highway. Ha ha. You feel pretty vulnerable at times, living in a tent. The rain started sometime in the early morning[…]

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Day 76: Pushing to beat the weather, again.

February 16th Kiwi Hut (km2170) – Arthur’s Pass road (km2208) Mileage: 23.6mi/38km Here I am again, recounting a day of big miles over the most difficult of terrain, a solid 12 hour effort. All to beat some more rain. It’s not that I can’t hike in the rain. We proved that 28 kms in the rain is no problem the other day. It’s these river crossings that determine everything. We must have crossed streams or rivers at least 50 times this day, probably even more. This included crossing the Taramakau, Otira, Deception, Mingha, and Bealey Rivers. These were all easy crossings, no more than knee deep. I am lucky that it has been a relatively ‘dry’ year because both WhyNot[…]

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Day 75: Harper Pass and the post that just won’t ever stop annoying me

February 15th Hurunui No 3 Hut (km2147.5) – Kiwi Hut (km2170) Mileage: 14mi/22.5km There wasn’t too much going on this day. It was just a nice, short day of walking. We were all off together at 8 am. Here is another shot of the hut we stayed in overnight. We came to a 3 wire bridge, the first on this journey but I have been across many on the SI. They scare some people but I like them. We passed 5 NOBOs early on, 2 couples and a solo. We also passed a couple huts/bivys and Anna couldn’t resist cleaning one. She loves sweeping. It was a gradual climb to Harper pass…not much of a pass compared to Waiau and[…]

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Day 74: Peacefull Walking and a Reunion

February 14th Hope Kiwi lodge (km2120.5) – Hurunui No 3 Hut (km2147.5) Mileage: 16.8mi/27km It was a pretty easy day of mixed forest and valley walking. We left the hut around 8 am, with a goal of 27 kms for the whole day. Yep, I am taking it kind of easy. Some have used the word “boring” to describe parts of this section but I would call it peaceful walking. The skies were a bit overcast, so the birds seemed very active. It was one of the best stretches for birds, in fact. I saw many fantails, tomtits, rifflemen, bellbirds, and South Island robins. One bellbird was singing it’s rich melody on a branch right above the track. I enjoyed[…]

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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 pretty[…]

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