I had a plan. Travel to Blenheim and leave early the next morning to do the road walking segment out of town, about 12 km, in the cool of the day before much traffic was happening.


I couldn’t find a vacant camping site in Blenheim, and the first two backpackers were filled with seasonal workers.

Arriving in late morning by bus from Nelson wasn’t going to help.

I was gonna have to move on.

When I loaded two litres of water aboard to counteract the heat of the day the realisation hit. Yes. This is what it feels like to be fully loaded with two weeks’ food.

Lunchtime. As I walked from the railway station through town I was thinking of a last minute splurge in civilisation, aware that it was my last chance, but nothing looked right. Tea and pies, or otherwise not to my rather average taste. Then I was through the main shopping strip, and the opportunities ran out.

A kilometre or two along, just before the hospital I settled for what was available: a pie and a litre of cold milk, and went into the MA and PA Park. That’s the Marlborough Agricultural and Produce Association Park. I needed some shade under a tree.

After a short nap I plodded on through an area of new homes, then new homes under construction.

By the time I reached Taylor Dam, an attractive water holding lake, I was feeling the full weight of my pack, and the belt of the sun. I come about 13 km in total with my pack, and thought, okay, it’s only 2 30 pm but I’ve done sufficient for the day.

I went into the reserve for a look, found a shady tree and had another nap. Maybe my recent travels and a rush to finish my work for the year had left me feeling lacklustre. No need to overdo it. I had the whole summer ahead.

The treeless Wither Hills were around. I’d start afresh in the morning.

Must be somewhere I could throw my tent up.

Day 2 | Tinpot Hut →