Day 13. Beautiful sights and my first hitch hike
It actually took me a lot longer than I thought to get out of that campsite. I finished blogging and it stops raining so I take everything out and put it on a picnic table that was nearby. I have to boil two more 500ml of water before I can leave so that takes a while and attempting to dry off the tent is basically impossible. Everything is wet. I run around trying to dry off the the footprint beneath the tent and the tent it’s self like flying a kite behind me. It’s amusing but not the first time I’ve done it. I also made myself a pretty sign for when I needed it later.
Also.. about every 5 minutes a fat bumble bee buzzed around me like in the biggest flower it has ever seen. They basically have to land on you before they figure it out, which is fine till they fly near my ear or face. I’m pretty sure I physically beat down a handful of bees today. Then I moved somewhere else cuz I knew they would be pissed! I’m feelin pretty good. I guess I had two ibuprofen and a tablet in my water that has some kind of caffeine in it, called ‘Boost’. I didn’t realize it till I was getting ready to walk out and head way back up the twisty road but I didn’t have to, there was a trail I saw on my gps heading the right direction I was heading. Sweet sweet.
I hiked for a long time. Often to take pictures and others for a snack break. It’s crazy how blue the water is here. It’s actually almost teal in color sometimes. Every view is like a postcard or a windows screensaver.
I feel the water at one point and yea.. it was really cold. That doesn’t seem to stop some though. I think I saw 4 people today in it. One of them a guy went skinny dippin. How I knew when he was already in the water? He dove and like a whale I saw his bare bum atop the water. Ummm yea, not going to look again. Through forest and gravel to small waterfalls and dirt I go.
I finally come to the end of the line. No more trails for about 7 miles till I can freedom camp then continue to Glenorchy and maybe make it there in the next day or two? I take a decently long break to eat some trail mix and take a few swings of water. I finally get signal to post my blog from last earlier.
I also got to use my personal locator beacon for the first time because I didn’t have phone signal. I press an ‘OK’ butting on it and it will send a pre-made message to friends or family. I also have it sent to myself so when I do get signal I’ll know it sent. Basically says, I don’t have any phone signal, but I wanted to let you know I’m ok. 🙂
Side note. I hadn’t flossed in about a week and I finally did two days ago and what do you know, it stirred up all kinds of bacteria and I had a sore throat yesterday and stuffed up nose since. It’s great. I love not being able to breath.
So I’m all prepared to make this trek.. i day a little prayer. I start walking and holding the sign in my right hand (people drive on the left side of the road) and the SECOND car that passed honked his horn and pulled over in front of me. Wow that was quick! It was a pickup truck so I jogged up to the window and he just said, ‘throw your stuff in back!’ Told him I really appreciated it and lugged my backpack over the tailgate and hopped in the passenger door. The next 30 minutes is a shotgun blast of questions. Super awesome guy and is really interested in my story. I barely get out one answer and he’s got another one in the chamber. He asked where I was coming from. I said Queenstown. “No one picked you up all the way to here??” Lol no. I only pulled out my sign 5 minutes ago. He asks me about Cancer and any side effects I’ve had, any personality changes I’ve had because of it, where I was and how it happened, a list of other questions and my faith. He says that we are all on this earth to learn how to love each other. As Christians we are just here to live in this body for so many years then we can go to heaven. We shouldn’t be afraid to die. I agree with everything he says. He tells me he lives in Australia for part of the year and New Zealand for part of the year. He has a plot of land here almost where I plan to hike through. He warns me about a big weather front that’s coming through I supposed to dump a ton of rain and wind for the next two days. Cooool. He kind of resembles Albert Einstein and his name is Peter. I meant to ask if he was named from the Peter in the Bible. I ask if there is a grocery store in town and if there was a campground to stay in case I didn’t want to start the hike that day. It was a bit late to start. He takes me past his turn to go to his road and pulls into the local small store and right beside it is the campground. No such things as coincidences. I grab my stuff out from the back and ask for a picture with him:
What a cool guy.
I figure I’ll ask to at least see if they have any camping spots open. They dooo. As him what time the store closes, 6:30pm. I think it’s like 4pm at the time.
I plop my bag down at the spot he tells me. Looks like I need to take everything back out again. Blah. The tent bottom is still pretty dirty and wet. It’s pretty windy, so I take it and just hold onto the corners and let it fly. The fastest way to dry out any fabric! While I’m doing this, a German guy named Toby asks if I need a hand getting it pegged to the ground. I believe he thought it was out of control and I couldn’t get it to stop flying away on me. So we start talking. He’s with his gf Katarina (I doubt I spelled either name correct) who is also German but has been here 6 month without him and he just finally was able to come and meet her here 2 days ago. He is only here for two weeks so they are going to make the best of it. She has a red jacket on and he has a blue jacket on and and LOL. I know he’s reading this. He asked what I was going to talk about and that he knows where I’m sleeping. Haha! After I got my tent setup he kindly offered me tea and we sat and chatted. (I also gave him a card so he can read this and follow me around) just talked about life as I made some beef dehydrated beef stew. I tossed a small piece of popcorn to one of the little sparrows and watched him battle with it to break it apart. (I got the stew and popcorn from the local store. It seems to be more of a souvenir store than a place to eat?) After I fed the one bird he brought back friends as they danced around waiting for more. I’m actually thinking I shouldn’t be doing this as New Zealand is very picky about their bird life. Toby says he will probably choke on it and if I heard the rumor that if you give birds some kind of rice or beans or something that they will explode. I’ve heard that too! Anyone know what thing you feed them and if it’s true?
We are also visited by a strange confidant duck who doesn’t care about us and just pecks around our stuff and just marches through. I say strange duck because his head is white but almost the rest of his body is brown. Strange.
After a second cup of tea and a full belly I wish them well as they leave at 6am in the morning to head to Milford Sound I believe. Then to Te Anau. I recommend the Last Light Lodge for their food and accommodation. One of the nicest German couples I’ve met.
I go to take a shower ($2 for 7 minutes) then do my laundry. Why is there 2 washing machines and one single dryer for this place?? I would have had to wait another 2 hours if I wanted to use the dryer. Tried to make a dyi laundry lie inside my tent. We will see how dry it gets in the am. It’s going to be pretty cold and rainy the next two days, or so they say. Like 50’s and rain. I know I know, Toronto and Indiana would love 50’s but I hear you guys will be getting a warm wave soon. It’s supposed to get pretty cold at night too. At least most of you don’t have to worry about that one. In a tent, I do!
So I not exactly sure if I’ll be starting that hike tm if there is going to be this huge storm roll in.. we will see I guess.
Oh yea I also found a blister on my foot. The ball of my left foot. I had moleskin around the ball of my foot, but it speared just around the outside of that little padded circle. Sigh. I finally got some hikers wool from the little store too. It’s supposed to be amazing as it socks away all moisture and keep your feet dry. Blogging in the tent now. Sniffling. Snorting. Sneezing. It’s great.
I could definitely see the lords hand today. It’s also amazing how people can communicate with English not being their first language. English is hard as it is, but what amazes me is that they have to translate everything you’re saying to them in real time. Lol multi lingual people are pretty gifted.
Word of the day:
In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON