NZ DAY 129
ABEL TASMAN TRACK: Bark Bay to Totaranui 21KM( Total KM's walked 1354)
Another early morning saw us on the track at 8am , can’t complain though as got some great picture of the sun through the clouds. Today was all about getting to the estuary crossing on low tide, which we nailed. The tide was low enough that we could comfortable walk across without getting very wet. This walk is a great walk so the track is very well maintained basically a footpath all the way. However don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy, it is up and down all the way. It is suggested to take 4-5 days and we have pushed it into 3 because of constrictions with shuttles. If I was to recommend this walk I would say take the 5 days and enjoy some of the lovely little bays along the way. Today David and I were discussing Japan and that we needed to do some planning as it was only 6 weeks away. We have been in NZ nearly 5 months the time has gone so quickly and I have to say I have had a great time. No regrets about not finishing the Te Araroa we have seen a lot more of NZ and had more fun on trail. We have met so many more people from TA walkers to mums getting away from the kids for a night
HIGHLIGHT: Having lunch by the estuary and watching the Weka try and steal our lunch
LOWLIGHT: The Hill’s the bloody hills😛
Grateful, today was a day of pondering what we have done over the last 5 months, so I am grateful having space to reflect. I am grateful for my internal strength, over the last 5 months I have had to come to terms with not being as strong and resilient as I thought I was. So I am also grateful for the changes I have made over the last 5 months in my thoughts . I now am confident that whatever comes our way I will find a way to tackle it with grace and guts.
NZ DAY 128
ABEL TASMAN TRACK: Marahau to Bark Bay 24KM (Total KM's walked 1333)
Another early start to catch a shuttle to start the very famous Able Tasman walk on the West Coast .
I knew we were in for a great day when we got up the skies were blue as, then .....where the shuttle dropped us of was a cafe. So we started the day with proper coffee and a omelette. YES !!! thank you universe. This walk is a great walk, the track meanders through beech Forrest on one side with views of beautiful secluded bays on the other. Lunch was along side the Torrent River, on a little private beach it was so charming. The day was quiet long with us getting into camp around 4pm. The campsite is perfect, situated right on the beach. We put up the tent and went for a swim ( a paddle really as the water was very cold) we then went for a walk along the beach to a little secluded spot and sat and had a glass of wine. Yes wine David has found wine in a plastic bottle, so he is carrying 2 bottles. Today was perfect.
HIGHLIGHT: Dinner tonight was delicious smoked chicken with noodles and satay sauce topped with fried onions and chocolate mousse for dessert generously supplied by our neighbour in the camp site.
LOWLIGHT:My feet our really sore because the path was like cement.
Today I am grateful for great planning and changing plans for optimal enjoyment. When planning our South Island component of our trip we have allowed the weather to dictate our plans and it has worked a treat. I am grateful for neighbours that supplied chocolate mouse for dessert. Grateful that the Spunky Rooster can still be romantic.
NZ DAY 125
NELSON LAKES TRAVERS SABINE CIRCUIT: Sabine Hut to Speargrass Hut 14KM (Total KM's walked 1295
Woke this morning to a very pretty sunrise on the lake. Started the day with trepidation as there were a couple of people who had come through from Speargrass to Sabine and they indicated that the track was difficult due to lots of trees across the track. That coupled with a good incline we expected a difficult day. It was a pleasant surprise the track gradually headed up through forrest with small patches of mud. There were a few trees down but David quickly and easily found alternative routes to get around the major slips and fallen trees. The biggest surprise was the temperature, although the sun was shining there was a very cool breeze and in the shadows of the trees which made it quiet cold.
HIGHLIGHT: Coming out of the forrest to a field of speargrass in full sunshine
LOWLIGHT: Being very cold
Grateful for my chest it holds my heart safe and allows it to beat strong and hard. Grateful for small gestures from strangers. We met some Australians (Tony & Lisa) at West Sabine and again at Sabine Hut and got talking and they are doing the John Muir and they are going to email us all of their research, I am grateful for life never being boring, I love variety and the stimulation and growth that comes with things changing often.
NZ DAY 123
TRAVERS SABINE CIRCUIT: Upper Travers Hut to West Sabine Hut 10KM (total KM's walked 1281)
Today was always going to be a day of ups and downs and I don’t just mean the terrain. From the hut we had an hour and a half climb straight up to the saddle. An exercise in futility if the weather wasn’t fine. I woke up at 6.45am and went out to check the sky and to my delight it was clear beautiful blue so blue that the moon was lighting the top of the mountain. So again the weather gods had granted my wish. So that was the up side of the day. The down side was once across the saddle the track was a 1000 meter straight down over shale the first half and a muddy roots slide the second half. I knew it would play havoc with my knees. So we set out about 8am and the climb up was good, with a majority of it natural stone staircase. The saddle views where amazing with even a little bit of snow. Then came the down.....OMG it was a a downward rock scramble. Then after 300 meters it turned into roots and mud, we received a little grace in that the mud had dried out so wasn’t the slip and slide that had been reported from the day before. At about 800 meters the track flattened out and run along the river and we thought the downward trudge was ended so we relaxed and had lunch next to the river. But we should had known better soon after lunch we stayed to defend again through a rocky muddy root mess. An hour later and the hut finally came into view. I dropped my pack and sat totally spent my knees throbbing and saying a pray of thanks to the universe for getting us down relatively unscathed. David did take a couple of tumbles one he snap his pole and bruised his knee and the other he landed on his back and snapped my note book. Once we had grabbed a bunk we headed down to the river to soak....the freezing water certainly makes you ache but if you can cope it does ease the muscles. Tonight in the hut there are a lot of people but I don’t think it will be a problem because I’m exhausted.
HIGHLIGHT: Travers Saddle was epic
LOWLIGHT: How much it hurt coming down, I think I might have to invest in a knee support.
Today I am grateful for opportunities, opportunities to meet interesting people, opportunities to experience breathtaking views opportunities to push myself beyond what I think I am capable of, opportunities to create an amazing life with The Spunky Rooster. I am grateful we both got down safely. Grateful helinox will replace David’s pole.
NZ DAY 122
NELSON LAKES TRAVERS SABINE CIRCUIT: John Tait Hut to Travers Hut 15KM (Total KM's walked 1271)
Another lazy start with us hitting the track at around 10am as we only had a 3 hour walk today. However it was all up hill with several creek crossings. The scenery was stunning..... would have been better with blue sky . The drizzle was intermittent and not heavy so it was a pleasant walk. Did a 20 minute side trip to Travers Falls which was gorgeous. Crossing the Travers River we could see high in the mountains and there was a stunning cascade of water from the top disappearing into the mountain to suddenly reappear about 3-4 metre below it was truely nature at its best. When we finally reach the hut it was a delightful surprise nestled at the base of Mount Travers . Would love to see it when there was snow on the mountains.
HIGHLIGHT: Coming out of the forest and seeing the hut.
LOWLIGHT: Thinking about tomorrow’s down hill slide😭
Today I am grateful for the DOC lady in Wellington who convinced us to do this trail it is just perfect. Grateful for good weather and warm hut. Grateful for my legs and how strong they have become. Grateful for minutes everyday that highlight how great life can be.
NZ DAY 121
NELSON LAKES TRAVERS SABINE CIRCUIT: Lakeview Hutt to John Tait Hut 16KM (total KM's walked 1256)
Today’s start was very lazy, sitting around having a coffee until nearly 10am. With only 14.7km to cover on a good track we were in no hurry. The walk today followed the Travers River in and out gloomy forest and grassy river flats. I love the sound of water rushing over rocks we were never far from the river. Lots of muddy track today and a couple of ankle deep stream crossings. Finishing at John Tait hut at around 2.30pm so another nice relaxing afternoon in the hut.
HIGHLIGHT: Although very scary the view from the swing bridge crossing the Travers River was really lovely.
LOWLIGHT: Stopping for lunch I was eaten alive by sandflies
Grateful for time to contemplate, spoke with Vicki 2 nights ago and realised how lucky I am to have friends like Vicki and Donna. I don’t know if people realise how important friends are day to day. Grateful for gorgeous nature like this little toadstools on the track, they made me feel very whimsical. Grateful for meeting al, the people we meet.
NZ DAY 120
TRAVERS SABINE CIRCUIT: St Arnaud to Lakehead Hut 10KM ( Total KM's walked 1240)
Today started early with the shuttle picking us up at 8am to take us the hour and half to St Arnaud. The weather is perfect for walking and the walk was an easy 10km. So now sitting in the hut relaxing . David and I had a lovely afternoon playing pot just enjoying the earth of the sun through the hut glass.
HIGHLIGHT: Being able to beat David in Pot
LOWLIGHT: The cabin being quiet full tonight
Grateful today for meeting new people with information about walks in America. Grateful for cards and David learning to play pot. Grateful for the Smiling Mind app, it helps me be diciplined with my mindfulness.
NZ DAY 115
QUEENSTOWN: A Zero day to work on the website
Spent the day today in Macca’s using their free WiFi planning our next backcountry walk. Also splashed out on 2 famous “Fergburgers” . David had a Bullseye.... a rib eye steak topped with caramelised onions cheese lettuce and tomato. I had the Cockadoodle Oink..... a crumbed chicken breast bacon avocado lettuce tomatoe and Spanish onion.These burgers have become so famous you have to stand in line for anywhere between 30-60 minutes to place your order. Then wait another 15-30 minutes to get your burger. Rating : the bun was delicious and there was a huge piece of crumb chicken in the burger lots of filling great value but I wouldn’t line up again .
HIGHLIGHT: Have to say the burger didn’t disappoint
LOWLIGHT: Missing Sam it’s one of the things that make this choice of life hard.
Grateful for the sun shining even if it’s cold, Grateful for being able to chat with Sam. This is a double edge sword as it makes me miss her more. The luxury of sitting in Macca’s with free Wi Fi.