Twig Adventures

Day 98: Greenstone

March 10th Greenstone carpark (km2711) – Taipo hut (km2735) Mileage: 15mi/24km The day dawned as another perfect day. We set out to finish our hitch to the trailhead and immediately got a ride from an empy tour bus. That is a first. The driver and guide were going up the Dart River and almost forgot to let us off at the intersection to the Greenstone. So we came close to hiking the Dart Valley instead, which I want to do, but at a later date. I’ve decided to postpone all the side trips until after I finish the TA. It is best to focus on one thing, for now. We got another quick ride to where the road turns off[…]

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Day 97: Avoiding the Adventure Capitol of the World

March 9th Lake Hayes (km2691) – Queenstown (km2711) Mileage: 12.4mi/20km I was on my way to Queenstown, the ‘adventure capitol of the world’, but with no desire to stay there. I had no chores to do and the place was likely fully booked, anyhow. There are a million activities and tours one can book in and around Queenstown but I just wanted to walk through. My goal was to resupply, then get a ride to Glenorchy, on the way to the start of the next TA section. The TA once again provides a logistical challenge as it ends at Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown and picks up on the other side at the Greenstone track carpark, some 100 kms away. One[…]

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Day 96: From solitude to city bustle

March 8th Roses Hut (km2660) – Lake Hayes (km2691) Mileage: 19.3mi/31km There was a freeze overnight but somehow I managed to stay plenty warm in my 30 degree quilt. I was quite surprised. Everything was covered in frost in the morning, even my tent. I also had a ton of condensation on the inside. It’s crazy the variation from one campsite to the next. I was longing for some pine trees. The morning started off with yet another climb but it felt good to warm up. On the way up, I spotted a New Zealand Falcon sitting on a trail marker. I saw a pair flying overhead a few days ago but forgot to mention it. This is another first[…]

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Day 95: Slowing it down

March 7th Fern Burn Hut (km2643.5) – Roses Hut (km2660) Mileage: 10.3mi/16.5km My TA experience is drawing to an end and I don’t want it to. Today was a great day to take it slow. For one, the trail dove up and down along all the ridges, making for some huge gains and losses in elevation. I felt like a goat. Two, the clouds all went away and the sun was shining, making for great views galore. I stopped to enjoy the perfect conditions multiple times today. I even took a nap up on a ridge, propping up my umbrella for some shade over my head. It was great. I also took a bath in a creek in the forest,[…]

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Day 94: Back into the hills

March 6th Wanaka (km2620) – Fern Burn Hut (km2643.5) Mileage: 14.6mi/23.5km I didn’t want to leave this morning as it was raining and looked like it might go on all day. But it was time to be moving on. Bertram stayed behind, trying to heal his messed-up legs. Poor guy. Wanaka in the background The famous Wanaka lone water tree. In Florida, we jave bijillions of these. They are called mangroves and cypress. We set off around 10 am, taking it easy as we continued the stroll around Lake Wanaka. It was another easy multiuse path, but without a single mountain bike on this rainy day. After 14 kms, we came to Glendhu Bay and turned off onto the Motatapu[…]

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Day 93: Wanaka Zero

March 5th Wanaka Mileage: about 6 miles walking to and from town. Since I had a place to stay, I had decided to take a zero in Wanaka. I didn’t really need to and I hadn’t really made plans for what to do with the time off. Klaus was heading on but Ruslan decided to stay for another day, as well. We all had a nice breakfast with Nic, then walked into the city center. I went to a few outdoors stores, where I was able to exchange my socks for a new pair and get a new canister. Then I went to the library, only to find that the computers cost money and the wifi was slammed. Next was[…]

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Day 92: Into Wanaka

March 4th Clutha River (km2610) – Wanaka (km2620) Mileage: 6mi/10km I took it really easy again on this morning. I wanted to get some work done on the blog before town craziness hit and also enjoy my alone-time. The secluded campsite was just so peacefull. I got a great video of a piwakawaka (fantail) singing in the tree right above me. It’s nice to just stay in one place for awhile to enjoy the local nature. I was back on the trail at 9 am and had 10 km to cover before arriving at Wanaka. The mutlti-use path continued around a point, following the lake shore. There were tons of people out enjoying the Sunday morning. Wanaka was just a[…]

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Day 91: A Refreshing Day

March 3rd Stodys Hut (km2573) – Clutha River (km2610) Mileage: 23mi/37km The rats were up and about all night. Running to and fro. They definitely have a nest in the roof. Fortunately, their dismantling of one of the mattresses was enough to keep them occupied and they left my stuff alone. I hung it from lines but they can be adept tightrope walkers. It also rained most of the night, which helped to drown out the rat noise. The possums were shrieking outside. The hut was lonely but I was definitely not alone. I slept in until 07:30 am. That is a new record for me. It was very dark in the hut and the days are getting shorter, so[…]

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Day 90: A kick-butt finish to a long day

March 2nd Avon Burn Stream (km2538) – Stodys Hut (km2573) Mileage: 21.8mi/35km It rained lightly almost all night. Great to sleep to but I had to pack a very wet tent. I left around 07:30 am, same time as everyone else but Ruslan. He didn’t sleep very well and wanted to take it easy. He and Bertram have very small, coffin-like tents. Both being such tall guys, I don’t know how they do it. Klaus has a 2 person tent and enjoys all the room in the world. Kind of funny how that works. I should say a little more about my companions. Ruslan is 27 and an electrical engineer. He has been living, working and going to school in[…]

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Day 89: Trail Magic

March 1st Lake Ohau (km2510) – Avon Burn Stream (km2538) Mileage: 17.4mi/28km plus 3 km walking to TH from lodge Today had a little bit of everything: a great sunrise, small road walk, forests, a saddle crossing, rain, big river crossing, and last but not least, awesome trail magic. The day dawned quite elegantly, with a nice orange glow over the lake. It was again one of the best night’s sleep. A little stream drowned out all other noise and it was dry under the pine tree. I walked out to the lake to soak up the serenity. To think, all those people up at the lodge were paying top dollar for lake views, but we had the ideal location…at[…]

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