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INVERCARGIL - BLUFF (Stirling point)!! (34km)

Day 136 (14.3.16) - Bluff!

We woke at about 06:30 and had mostly slept really well. The door did have an alarm that went off every time someone went out for a pee, but that was a small matter.

The foul kitchen was at least empty at this time in the morning. Rune was not up there and we thought that he may have already left, or that he'd be pacing and smoking somewhere outside. But ten minutes later a slightly harassed looking BigBear appeared, he'd slept in! We had a leisurely meal and then wandered down to meet Mick (he was staying in a nice hotel with his wife who'd come to meet him for the end)! We were still carrying packs, but all they contained was food, water and booze! Much lighter for us, but probably about the same for POD and Disco!

We had soon left the town and starting walking along a great path through some salty, swampy flatlands. We walked in a loose group and spent time chatting and in  easy silence again. There was a bridge that had been cordoned off as dangerous due to storm damage but we'd heard that it was fine from hikers who had just finished.

We had a mini pee break and Mat was in awe of POD's standing pee stance. I am not sure how he'd missed it to this point, but he was definitely impressed. Tom and Rune had seen it before, so just shrugged and peed as normal. I wish I'd taken a picture of the line up though, three hairy men in shorts, one less hairy lady in a hiking skirt and 4 jets of pee. But it was probably for the best that I couldn't get the camera out in time.

We stopped to reform at an old railway line in the industrial area just before joining the road. We had a lot of good snacks to share around and I couldn't help feeling happy and lucky to be part of such a great group of people.

Having a break together before starting on the road. 

Having a break together before starting on the road. 

Rune was restless and none of us were particularly looking forward to the road section. We opted for music and set off, walking into the traffic. The verge was reasonable and the road was actually quiet, I'm glad we were walking it on a Sunday as we'd heard it could be rubbish when it was busy.

 Lots of people waved at us and at one point we spotted a small van with a bike in the back and a man who waved very enthusiastically. We assumed this was Rune's bike (he was cycling back from Bluff for the first part of his 'WABI' a 'WAlk BIke' back to Cape Reinga). He tried not to look too concerned when the same man passed us about an hour later coming the opposite way, still with the bike in the back!

We found a side road and had a break after we'd done about 10km of the road. We'd spread out a bit and Rune decided he didn't want to wait for the others and just wanted to crack on. Mat and I had decided that we wanted to finish as a group as we'd become pretty fond of the others and we weren't fussed about waiting for a bit!

After a while, we set off again. I was basically jogging to keep up with Matty as he didn't have the 4.5kg tent or any of the other rubbish to slow him down!

Almost there! 

Almost there! 

We got to the Bluff sign post where you turn off the road for the final bit and who should we see but a great hulking Dane!! He said he'd changed his mind and wanted to be with us and that he'd just wanted to get the road out of the way, but we think he also wanted his official camera man back! We lounged on the sign eating more and relaxing. We were glad the road was over, feet still not loving the relentless pounding of tarmac. The others joined us before too long and we took some more photos. Mick's wife also turned up in her car and it was great to meet her! Moonboy also turned up (he'd finished a few days before).

We set off again in an untidy group and enjoyed the path and hills. It was overcast but not chilly and it was good to be finishing on a track. We stopped just before the final corner and walked the final stretch together! 

Finished! 

Finished! 

Rune couldn't wait to get a finish photo, so barged past a family who were posing for a shot and waited grinning at the sign! Mick's wonderful wife had bought a crate of beer and we all toasted each other and Te Araroa. After another six hours or so of taking photos, we realised it was probably time to hitch back to Invercargil for showers and celebrations!

Take 1... 

Take 1... 

Take 2! 

Take 2! 

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RIVERTON - INVERCARGIL (32km)

Day 135 (13.3.16) - Beach, road and friends.

Sorry for the delay!

Only today and tomorrow to go. I cannot believe it. We had a lovely relaxed afternoon yesterday after a 12km day and in some ways it felt like we had already finished. Apart from we still have about 66km to go!! And today is beach and road!

It was grey and chilly to start, but actually a good temperature for wearing a coat! The bridge across the estuary in Riverton was pretty and quiet. Soon we were on the beach. We'd left just before Rune for once, and Celestino, Mat and I waited on the far side of the bridge and watched him power walking to catch us! We al had to stop for a pee too, so Rune was with us before long.

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We had checked the tides and mostly had firm sand to walk on. We couldn't help but reminisce about our first NZ beach and compare how far we'd come. Rune was peeing every 7 minutes or so, but we were making speedy progress. It was a beautiful beach. We walked together and enjoyed the chat and also the silence. 

We waited to cross the river before having a break and we saw a lone man sitting on a good looking washed up tree and decided to cross and join him. The water was shallow enough to keep feet dry in boots (with a little creative leaping), but Rune wasn't in boots. He couldn't be bothered to take his shoes off and made a half hearted attempt to walk on water. He more or less tried to quickstep and jump across but miss timed the first spring and landed in ankle deep water. Not one to be easily deterred, he continued to skip across. He reached the other side with wet feet, but a big sheepish grin. We were all further cheered when we realised that the lone hiker was Mick!

There were some people speeding about on dirt bikes, it looked like a lot if fun but was very noisy! Eventually after about 20km of beach we saw a spattering of cars on the sand which marked the turn off to the road. We'd drifted apart slightly and managed to lose Mick again! After a luxury lunch of cold pizza and fruit, we started on the road.

It was hot and not very inspiring and the road was busy. At one point a small dog was running down the road, thankfully all the cars managed to stop and we were able to grab the dog. Shortly afterwards we reunited him with his owner.

Rune sniffed out some coca-cola and we bumped into Mick again at a cafe. We passed the next 8km or so into town by playing a game where you hit the other person when you see a certain coloured car, or double letters on a number plate. Unfortunately Rune was quite excitable and we had to stop after about half an hour as he was hitting me wildly with every car and I was starting to get bruises.

We made it to the Tuatara Backpackers.  The reception part was lovely and the lady on the desk was helpful and friendly. Unfortunately the rooms were small and windowless! We had been recommend a different backpackers but had decided we wanted to stay together as a group of nine and so we had made our beds so to speak! We put Rune in the room opposite (for the snoring) and Tom decided to rearrange our room to sleep on a mattress on the floor because he wanted a quieter night! There were three sets of bunks and Tom's mattress, it was cosy. The total lack of ventilation did make it a little smelly. Perhaps Rune had the better option.  The 3 girls in his room were a little alarmed when Tom moved out, but Rune charmed them in no time.

Despite the longish day we had arrived early and spent the afternoon eating food and washing clothes- we decided to start fresh for the last day! 

The room was cramped but felt like home quickly. The easy company of the others meant we probably stayed up talking for too long, but we all slept well.

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COLAC BAY - RIVERTON (12km)

Day 134 (11.3.16) - We could get used to this!

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We only had a short day and we took it easy! We even managed to trick Rune into climbing an extra hill to a lookout! It was a good view, but he wasn't impressed! It was chilly and grey and reminded us of home!

Rune shouting in frustration when he realised he'd climbed an extra hill! 

Rune shouting in frustration when he realised he'd climbed an extra hill! 

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We arrived at another lovely campsite with a huge lounge area and kitchens! Rune also thinks that these are the best showers of the whole trip! Celestino even claims they are powerful enough that you don't need soap!

Celestino catching it all on camera whilst striking a pose!

Celestino catching it all on camera whilst striking a pose!

We had some free time so Rune asked me to do his hair. 

We had some free time so Rune asked me to do his hair. 

And Celestino updated his beard style. 

And Celestino updated his beard style. 

Only two days left!

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MARTIN'S HUT - COLAC BAY (28km)

Day 133 (10.3.16) - Beer and burgers.

It was not the most peaceful night in the hut. Two walkers arrived at 22:00 and were put out that all the bunks were taken! Mick was already sleeping on the floor and Rune had pitched outside. I felt sorry for them so offered my bed, but it meant Mat had to share with me! Unwashed and stinky. It was also made worse by the fact Tom kept on dropping heavy objects down from his bunk onto Mat's head.

Occasionally Mick would add wood to the fire and after a few minutes it would catch and flames would light the hut! This was slightly alarming as we had to check it was just new logs, not the hut burning down! Celestino arrived at a hut on a different track and found a camper who had burnt down the wood store as they had thought it was a fireplace!

We woke to heavy rain and a damp Rune who was locked out of the hut!

We put on all of our rain gear and ventured out. This last part of the trail is really trying to test us!

Bluff (the end point) only 88.7km away! 

Bluff (the end point) only 88.7km away! 

Before too long, the rain stopped and we enjoyed a better track through a noisy forest.

We made it through the bush (wopoo) and out to the road. It was so windy we were almost getting blown over.

Tom arrived a little later after missing a turning! Happy to be here.

Tom arrived a little later after missing a turning! Happy to be here.

We arrived at Colac Bay Tavern and had a friendly welcome. A pint for $5 and a burger and chips for $10! No pictures of the burgers, too busy eating!

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FOREST CAMP - MARTIN'S HUT (21km)

Day 132 (9.3.16) - Fire!

We woke after a chilly night. Well, Mat was ok in his -20 degrees bag, but I was cold even wearing Mat's fleece and longjohns as well as my own!

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The rest of the climb went quickly and we sheltered at a communication station at the top of Bald Hill. We could see the mountains where we had come from, and the bush covered hills we were walking next. We could also se the sea. The sea. We have come a long way. Not that we want to get to sentimental.

More tussock. 

More tussock. 

The rest of the day went surprisingly quickly, the hills seemed short and there were some good views. The last hill down to the hut was muddy, but still not as bad as he Northland forests.

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We got to the hut early, but it was chilly and we had already agreed to have a short day. It is an old hut but not too dirty and it had character. The mattresses were new too, which helps.

Tom spent some time washing his legs (using his sick as a cloth) in a muddy bucket of water. Halfway through he found something in the bottom. It was a dead mouse. 

Tom spent some time washing his legs (using his sick as a cloth) in a muddy bucket of water. Halfway through he found something in the bottom. It was a dead mouse. 

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Mat and Celestino then spent a few hours chopping wood and building a beautiful fire.

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It was the last hut! Lots of emotional comments in the hut book.  Tom adding some of his own thoughts on the trail.

It was the last hut! Lots of emotional comments in the hut book.  Tom adding some of his own thoughts on the trail.

It started to smell a little cheesy in the hut, and then something started to fall from the top bunk to Mat's bed below. We looked up, and Tom shouted 'sorry, just cleaning my feet'. His athletes foot skin was all over the floor.

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BRIDGE - FOREST CAMP (35km)

Day 131 (8.3.16) - It's starting to get a little chilly.

Even Rune slept in a little and we woke to a dry tent under a big pine tree after a windy night.

A short road walk to start. 

A short road walk to start. 

Just as we were finishing packing, Tom arrived! He had camped 2km earlier! Hooray, we were together again.

Hiding in the woods. 

Hiding in the woods. 

It was chilly enough today to walk in coats for some sections. We did find a sunny spot for a break, but otherwise it was too cool to stop for long.

Warming up in the sun. 

Warming up in the sun. 

A little bit more walking on a real road!  Bring back the bush.

A little bit more walking on a real road!  Bring back the bush.

We did find an apple tree that was not too close to a house so enjoyed some fresh fruit.

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We stopped at a house to ask for water and met a lovely labrador. The lady was very helpful and had already given water to two other groups the same day. She also agreed that Rune's new baby blue buff looked ridiculous.

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We started to look for a place to camp before starting the next climb. Tom jokingly said 'we'll probably end up camping at the top'. We all laughed, and then became more subdued as we went further and further with no camp in sight. We eventually found a rocky, flat space but then a local man advised us to move on another 5km as where we were was popular with hunters! So on we went. It wasn't as funny anymore, but we kept going until we eventually found a spot. We had to use our bum mats to cover patches of gorse, but we were set up before the rain!

The next morning we walked another 150m and found a perfect, flat camp spot! Good for next time...(It's at the end of the gravel road up to Bald Hill if anyone is interested).

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APARIMA HUT - BRIDGE AT END OF MT LINTON STATION (41km)

Day 130 (7.3.16) - A long day!

We woke about 0700 and made quite a lot of noise. Everyone else had breakfasted and packed up when Tom appeared, still half asleep! We left him.

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We started walking across boggy sponge plants and were grateful again for boots to keep our feet dry.

We walked up and down some more a snit was slow going in rooty forest. Rune said it was flat all day at which point we started climbing for at least an hour or so. At the top we sheltered from the wind and ate a quick lunch. We made it to Telford campsite at 15:30 (about 7 hours from the start) and we were attacked by sandflies before we'd even stopped. At this point we had to choose between stopping here at 21km, or walking for another 19km as it was private land with no camping allowed. We decided to carry on just as the rain started.

Photo from the phone, please pardon the quality! 

Photo from the phone, please pardon the quality! 

The next 19km were on gravel road and the trail notes described it as undulating. Which meant hilly. But it was faster going than forest.

We got to the bottom of a hill near the road and Mat and Rune went to talk to a man who just arrived home in a red truck. He was very friendly and gave us water and a place to camp. He did say we could have camped in his garden, apart from the dogs might be a problem. Mat said that he liked dogs, but Darrel then said that they were Rottweilers, and that they'd 'go for you'. He then added that he'd recently had to shoot two of his dogs as they started to get 'a bit growly'! We had a peaceful night and were not eaten by dogs, although we were a bit sad to be without our own very special Husky (aka Tom/Captain Haddock).

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TE ANU - APARIMA HUT

Day 129 (6.3.16) - Hitching and walking.

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Another hitch back to the trail. There were nine people already waiting. Two other couples went first. I ate half a pizza. Rune smoked 20 cigarettes. Rune and Tom got a lift from an elderly lady who then proceeded to stroke Rune's leg whilst winking at Tom in the rear view mirror! Rune was quite chuffed as he hasn't had any action for a while.

Today Tom has Fanta to drink as it's cheaper to buy than water.

We eventually started walking and saw a ginormous bull lounging in our path and Tom, in his red t-shirt, said the bull looked like he wanted a scratch with a walking pole. I said that he didn't want a poke and so we left him in peace.

Rune found an axe at the first hut and he buried it deep into the chopping block so that it would be stuck forever more and useless for all those behind us.

We then had a little walk up and we were sweaty in the woods again. We met a beautiful dog who was very jumpy and almost pushed Rune down the hill.

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There was some tussock.

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We arrived at our home for the night and there were two huts! One old one for Rune, one for the rest of us, we were already 5 and then others arrived later. POD and Disco at 20:00 and Solene and Antoine at 21:00 having walked 22km without a break!

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We were sharing with a 19 year old French guy, a German with an Italian name (Celestino) and an Australian fire fighter called Mick.

Oh and we all had a swim in a beautiful river. It was slightly spoiled when we turned around to see Rune adding his own steaming stream to the fresh water, just up from where we were washing.

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12km SHORT OF THE ROAD-TE ANU (12km)

Day 128 (5.3.16) - Post round!

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We were up quite early and a few kilometres short of the road we met a rural postman driving a truck in the opposite direction. He stopped and offered us a lift but we explained we wanted to walk to the road. He then said he'd pick us up at the road and just wait if he got back before us! It was perfect! Just as we arrived, he beeped and drove up. We then spent about 40minutes finishing the post route and learning the local gossip!

It started to rain but we were safely in town. The Kiwi Campground was great, they were really friendly and had free hot showers! We even rented a towel each so that we wouldn't have to sit around naked waiting for our washing.

We did our last big resupply shop! Tom also bought a huge, reduced price Oreo cake! It made us all feel sick after only one piece.

I then booked flights from the South to the North Island for the wrong month. Oops. But luckily if you cancel a flight within 24 hours you get a full refund.

We spent a lazy afternoon sheltering from the rain in the huge kitchen area.

The Dolphin (Tom's tent) went swimming. It's not waterproof any more. Tom phoned Big Agnes (the company that make his tent) and they agreed to send him out a new tent to NZ! Good customer service!

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CAREY'S HUT- 12km SHORT OF THE ROAD (42km)

Day 127 (4.3.16) - Dusty and long.

Today we walked lots of road. Dusty, gravel road.

We had decided to do about 40km today and then have a short day to the road and get an early hitch. Rune had finish fever, or Coke fever, and so decided to go an extra 11km and get to town tonight. Rune convinced Tom to join him in the long day, but then walked off and left him. 

We walked with Tom for a bit and stopped to ask a farmer for water. The water was brown and bitty. Tom drank it anyway and said it tasted ok, but Mat and I were a little more cautious.

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We found a good little camp spot by a stream and were joined after a little time by POD, Disco, Antoine and Solene. The starts were breathtaking.

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CAMP BY A CREEK-CAREY'S HUT

Day 126 (3.3.16) - Beautiful walking.

It was Solene's Birthday today, but we didn't think we were going to catch her so didn't bring any special treats. Mat did melt some chocolate and stick two biscuits together and wrote happy birthday on them, but if wasn't quite the same as Rune's birthday.

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It was quite a slow day, tussock and marsh, but we had dry feet thanks to boots and gaiters.

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It was still warm when we got to the hut, so we all went in for a dip! Rune and The Husky got balls deep.

Keeping animals out. 

Keeping animals out. 

Rune pitched his tent outside of the hut as a birthday present for Solene as she'd heard his snoring before.

The hut that was home for tonight. 

The hut that was home for tonight. 

We were still one bed short and POD bravely slept on Tom's thermarest that is now brown, but which once was yellow.

Not a bad view for the evening. 

Not a bad view for the evening. 

There was a mouse running about just as we were getting off to sleep and POD moved up to the wobbly table for a bit, but then gave up and went back to the floor.

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QUEENSTOWN - CAMP BY A CREEK

Day 125 (2.3.16) - We're off again.

After another huge breakfast, Tom decided to get a few extra treats to take away!

Tom with his extra treats from the Hilton breakfast.

Tom with his extra treats from the Hilton breakfast.

Waiting for a water taxi. 

Waiting for a water taxi. 

We got the water taxi into Queenstown and walked a short way to the road out. We bumped into Solene and Antoine also trying to hitch and they told us to move off their patch! Rune and Tom got the next area and Mat and I walked a little further up. We had a hitch round to the next part of the trail as $600 for a boat was a bit much! Within two minutes we got our first hitch. A lovely retired couple from near Bristol drove us the first 50km. We then got a second ride within a few minutes another 6km or so.

Being ignored by the posh old cars! 

Being ignored by the posh old cars! 

The gaps between cars were getting bigger. Not too long afterwards Rune and Tom arrived. We waited for about half an hour without much luck until a young Danish couple in a huge motorhome took pity on us! We still had another 20km left and didn't want to walk extra on the road. About twenty vintage cars drove past, but none of them wanted to pick us up. We waited for about two hours and we're starting to give up hope when a white Toyota Yaris turned up in a cloud of dust. Two Manchester girls asked where we were off to and offered us a lift if we could fit! We squashed our bags into the boot and the four of us into the back seats. They were hilarious! It was a slightly scary ride along a windy gravel road. We stormed into a river and just about out again to shouts of 'feet up guys, don't get wet'!  Our lovely hosts and Hanna the car just about made it to the start of the trail. It was a rental car and Tom said they had probably been watching TopGear for driving tips.

We made it! 

We made it! 

We did a little walking up through another beautiful valley. We got to a hut but it was very busy with day walkers and the hut warden told us we were too ugly to camp out the front and was generally rude, so we decided to push on for a bit and squeezed into a mossy patch by a river.

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QUEENSTOWN REST DAY

Day 123 (29.2.16) - It's a leap year!

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We woke in the huge bed in our luxury lakeside apartment. To our surprise, Tom was half asleep on the sofa! Rune's snoring had driven him out! So Tom didn't even get to enjoy his room!

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After a quick shower, we made it down to breakfast. This took some time. It was a huge buffet and ther was a menu to order from too! A walkers heaven. We had so much food. And then seconds. And then we juiced some fruit to freshen us up and ate some more!

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And then, after walking the 8km into town, after saying that we were so full, we are a McDonalds. We were half thinking of a famous Ferg Burger, but the que was over an hour long and we wanted to get back to do nothing!

Two burgers, two chips, two drinks each!  

Two burgers, two chips, two drinks each!  

We did a bit of casual shopping! Rune and Tom found some hats. Pics from the phone, so not the same quality! 

The Captain. 

The Captain. 

The Viking. 

The Viking. 

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ARROWTOWN-QUEENSTOWN (19km)

Day 122 (28.2.16) - HILTON!

It was a chilly morning and slightly windy. It was the longest I've worn my coat walking without sweating!

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The industrial part. 

The industrial part. 

Some of the walk was beautiful, but there was a section past some sewage works (with a truck labelled 'human sludge') and past a rubbish dump.

Rune was enjoying himself! 

Rune was enjoying himself! 

And then we arrived at the Hilton. In grubby clothes with backpacks and poles. I even had some popcorn strapped to the back of my bag. We were greeted very quickly and ushered towards the desk. Our room wasn't ready yet, but they said we could wait in the lounge. We spent some time relaxing in the lobby watching the other guests watching us. It was interesting.

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Before too long, we were taken to our room. Or more accurately our luxury lakeside apartment! So much white linen. Tom had a lot of hotel points from his work back home and decided to splash out and treat us to the Hilton! It's just a but different to how we normally travel.

We left our bags on the balcony and enjoyed a huge, hot shower and big clean towels and robes. We had a kitchen and a washing machine and tumble dryer and so had no reason to leave! The view from the balcony was beautiful.

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ROSES HUT-ARROWTOWN

Day 121 (28.2.16) - River walking.

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The day started with another big up! But we only had two today. After a steep descent we reached a decision point. The trail notes said you could either take a flood track, or walk down the river for 5km. Flood tracks are normally awful so we chose to walk in the icy river. It was beautiful and calm and although a little slow, it looked a lot better than the slippery high route.

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We had a break to make sure the sun reached the highest point and then started up the next hill. It was just as steep and sweaty as the others and we all had to semi strip at the top to dry out sweat soaked tops. POD normally walks in a skirt, and she'd hitched it right up for extra ventilation on the climb up! She said it also gave Disco something to aim for.

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We started the descent and discovered that with a lightish bag, you can run downhills!

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FERN BERN HUT - ROSES HUT

Day 120 (27.2.16) - Up and down!

Today was up and down. About 400m up and then steeply down again. Rune was as energetic as ever. We got to the first saddle and enjoyed the beautiful view and cool morning air. About ten minutes later, Rune came storming past, rubbing down the steep spine of the mountain. Unstoppable!

We had decided to do a short day in kilometers, but there were three large climbs to keep up busy.

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We spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and the new 12 bunk hut.

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Later that night, Mat decided he would join POD and Disco outside, because Rune was sleeping like a baby and snoring like a dragon.

POD and Disco's tent.  Nice view from the hut! 

POD and Disco's tent.  Nice view from the hut! 

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WANAKA - FERN BURN HUT (24km)

Day 119 (26.2.16) - Happy Birthday Rune!!

We all woke up about 0600 when Rune made his first coffee of his 40s! We had plans for later but were casually uninterested in the morning, but we did make him a fruit salad and cornflake breakfast.

April kindly drove us to where we were up to on the trail, saving us from an extra two kilometres walking.

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We left Wanaka at about 11:00 and make our way around the lake. Rune was happy that he got to call all the breaks, although he seems to have forgotten his promise to stop smoking on his birthday. We had lunch at the campsite and continued up to the hut.

Tom's photo. 

Tom's photo. 

Mat and I went ahead to set a few bits up. Rune arrived shortly after, rubbing to try and beat the rain, looking triumphant. A lady has fallen and hurt her ankle so couldn't walk out. Her friends had called for rescue, but the path was steep and they were having trouble getting her to the helicopter. Luckily, Rune appeared. He then carried the injured lady almost a kilometer to the chopper! We met some walkers later who referred to Rune as 'The Hero'! He said she weighed about the same as his bag anyway!

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It had been a little overcast but Rune assured us that it never rains on his birthday. Twenty minutes later, Tom almost got struck by lightening as he battled through the downpour.

Shortly afterwards POD and Disco arrived, casually strolling through the storm.

A phone pic, not the best quality! 

A phone pic, not the best quality! 

We spent an evening in a busy hut. We'd carried up balloons, a banner, hats, 1.5L of Coke, a bottle of wine, a steak and a cake with 40 candles for Rune as a surprise. POD had found a litre can of beer for Disco and also 12 nectarines! He had turned 40 the day before! The other walkers were a little surprised but very helpful and even carried out rubbish out.

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WANAKA REST DAY TAKE 2

Day 117 (25.2.16) - The first man to try a WABI.

Today Rune treated himself to an early birthday present- a bike! Brand new and glorious. His plan is to WABI NZ. WAlk and BIke. He tried to sell the word WABI and it's sort of catchy.  Rune didn't actually manage to pay for the bike today. He went into town with Tom and left Tom in a cafe promising to be back soon. After two coffees and several hours Tom started to get a bit twitchy and the people in the cafe were keen for him to leave! He looked for Rune in town, in the bike shop, back at the cafe but couldn't find him and Rune wasn't answering his phone. Tom then spent more time waiting by buying Rune a cycling book (Cycling Past 50) and even got a photo of Rune printed for the cover! Eventually Tom gave up and arrived back at the house. Rube arrived back about half an hour later and he was not a happy Viking! It's the first time in over 2000km that we've seen Rune angry! Mat just sat in the corner laughing as Rune accused Tom of leaving him without his phone, money or cigarettes! Luckily Rune calmed down quickly and peace was restored.

Mat took a picture of a famous tree. 

Mat took a picture of a famous tree. 

April, a lovely lady we met at a Christmas party dropped in and stayed for dinner. We were in rest day lazy mode, so I'm not sure if we were the best hosts, but it was great to talk to a normal person for a while.

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WANAKA REST DAY

Day 116 (24.2.16) - Burgers!

We didn't do much today! We are lucky enough to be staying in a house belonging to one of Rune's friends and we made the most of it by doing almost nothing!

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We did manage to make it out to get our bounce box and some food. Tom also had a beard trim and shaved his head! It was a lovely relaxing day and we liked it so much, we are having another day off tomorrow!

 

A table! Plates! 

A table! Plates! 

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PAKITHUI HUT - WANAKA

Day 115 (23.2.16) - Ice Cream!

We had decided to sleep out on the deck as the hut was busy, there weren't any sandflies and Rune was sleeping inside! About 02:00 one of the other walkers left the hut to put up his tent! In the morning Antoine banned Rune from ever staying in another hut! It was not Rune's quietest night, but he slept well anyway! And he made us a morning coffee.

Rune's second breakfast. 

Rune's second breakfast. 

Tom saving a bit of his ice cream for later. 

Tom saving a bit of his ice cream for later. 

We walked over the edge of the mountain and made it to the first cafe before stopping to refuel. The cafe was called Sailz and I'd highly recommend it! They were so friendly and pretended not to notice our stink. I had a pie, chips, juice and fruit. Mat and Tom had seconds of ice cream and the portions were huge! Unfortunately we still had a little way left to go!

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We had a break by the river and watched a group of people surfing a standing wave! It looked like a lot of fun.

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