Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Days 71-72: Bluff to Oreti Beach, to Colac Bay

Well, it's been a wonderfully relaxing and fun week off in my home town of Wellington! I caught up with family and friends, a movie, let my body recuperate and found a good therapeutic masseuse in town (great work, Mikki!). But I had to get going again, urgency building to get some miles under my belt! I have decided to walk the South Island from South to North, with a view to ending my walk back in my hometown. I flew down to Invercargill and caught the Stewart Island Ferry transfer bus from the airport to Bluff that afternoon. I was going to stay at the Bluff lodge, but after a quick look I decided the Bluff Camping ground was cheaper and had newer amenities. Plus it is closer to my start point (Stirling Point). As usual, I ran into some young German travellers and spent a couple of hours chatting about Germany and New Zealand. I wasn't keen to go to the pub as I had had a big night out in Wellington the night before, so I left the young  fellas to their big night out!

Day 71. When I finally got walking, I had no end of trouble with my body getting back into it... Maybe a week off was too long? Southlanders have been really awesome-Tom and Roz stopped to chat and give me food, I could tell they were cool cos they drive a Subaru fozzie :-). A random lady stopped to chat in Invercargill, and it was refreshing to see that there are some Kiwis who know about the TAT! I even had a nice young lady cheer me on from her car as I was walking in to Oreti. Friendly bunch around here.
There were a few stealth camping options, but I chose to use the Beach Road campground. My hammock attracted some attention from the residents of the campground! There is a very nice restaurant/bar next door which I had to check out... Being a Sunday it was packed with families. I ate dinner outside and was surrounded by kids running around and hollering... It wasn't exactly a contemplative atmosphere but I enjoyed the energy! I feel tired and a bit sore after today.. About 39 km, mostly on the road! Some nice scenery though. 
... And supposedly the first steam engine in NZ? Unusual as it was designed to operate on wooden rails.

Day 72. Still feeling sore from yesterday, but I have miles to get under my belt- on the way to Riverton today. Improvised shelter, anyone?
So despite everything, I am still getting blisters! A wee bit annoyed by this. But this brilliant view put a smile on my dial!
Anyway, I reached Riverton around 2.30 pm, did some food shopping and pushed on to Colac Bay, which will carve 12 km off my distance for tomorrow. Well worth it, despite my body protesting!
In case you get asked in a pub quizz, this is Colac bay's town sculpture- a surfer. Not much surf when I turned up. The campground is also the pub and restaurant, the owners are really friendly as are the other locals I met tonight! It was great to read the guest book and see a few names I recognise from the TA Facebook page- eh, 'Husky', nice to see the comments from you guys as you were nearing the end of your journey. It made me wonder how I will feel when I reach Queen Charlotte Sound or on the Picton Ferry coming into Wellington! Gonna make the most of free wifi here and post this blog- I don't expect another  opportunity for at least a few days! Cheers....

1 comment:

  1. it was pretty funny to talk with you on Viber and listen to the conversation with that lady who was so eager to chat!! To me it was indicative of the Kiwi persona-friendly, cheerful. :-) I think that after all the mileage you were putting on during your North Island trek, your body wasn't used to a prolonged rest break and thus was protesting to the renewed tramping.You mentioned trouble with the pack not feeling like it did before...have you ironed that out? Pretty annoying to have it all set up and then-due to the plane ride South, it needs to be readjusted again. I think going the opposite way is going to prove very interesting and helpful in some ways-when you run into folk going the opposite way you will be able to update each other with the latest trail information, which should prove very useful!