Riverton (km2976) – Invercargill (km3001)
I thought that my injuries from the day before might sideline me but it was my stomach that had the last laugh. I guess I can’t really blame the TA for my bad food choices, but it still felt like the trail was out to get me in the end.
I woke up feeling surprised that I wasn’t more sore. Everything still hurt but at least I felt that I could walk. My stomach was already starting to cramp, though. I had a pretty light breakfast and then we all hit the trail.
We had caught up to Klaus. He took a day off in Riverton and Gisella, his wife who broke her arm a month ago on the trail, flew down to join him. Phil and Ruslan were also walking the beach. It was going to be 22 kms on the beach then another 10 kms into town.
The last beach walk.
I immediately started having troubles once on the beach. I had to stop to dig a few catholes in the dunes and my stomach was in knots. I felt nauseated the whole day and the smell of the rotting seaweed nearly put me over the edge multiple times. I finally threw-up right on the beach, just from the sight of someone eating lunch. I hate throwing up, especially when I am miles from water, a toilet or a shower. It was terrible.
I felt a little better after this but didn’t even attempt to eat anything all day. The best thing I could do was put my headphones on and try to get lost in my music. Somehow the 22 kms passed and I even walked the road into town for a few kms. Finally, I had the sense to stick out my thumb and the best thing to happen all day was getting a ride from sweet Lorna, my savior.
She was an 81 year old grandma returning from a game of golf. As bad as I felt and wanted to get to the Air BnB where we were all staying, I wished that I had more time to spend with Lorna. In the short time that I rode with her, I found her energy and enthusiasm for life so mesmerizing. She dropped me off right in front of my destination and I couldn’t thank her enough for delivering me from my walking misery. I wish I had gotten a picture of her, as she is an amazing lady.
I found the second-best thing all day in the shape of a big comfy bed at Jane’s BnB.
The best sight all day.
I took a very hot shower then went straight to bed. I was running a fever by then. My friends, who still had to walk all the way into town, later brought me ginger ale and ginger snaps. I was able to drink and eat a little, and also take some pepto-bismol that I finally remembered was in my first-aid kit.
From what I can tell, I think I got food poisoning from the takeaway the night before. Phil mentioned that he also had problems. Or it could have been the oysters. Or it could be from a bad water source, but I doubt this since I have been pretty careful to filter most water. The thought of any fried food definitely makes my stomach turn the most, so I feel that’s probably what did me in. Who knows, but one thing was for sure, today was a terrible day and tomorrow, my last on the trail, doesn’t look much better. How I managed to walk 25 kms today, I’ll never know, but I doubt I have another 30 in me. I could just wait until I am better but I want to finish with my friends. By this point, I just don’t care anymore.
I know what I’ve done, I know what I’ve put up with, I know the hurt, and I also know all the joy. And that is what I will remember in the end.