Overcast once again.

Time for home.

The year is ending. This trip is ending.

What are the highlights?

Climbing Mt Misery, or at least being up there. The second climb looking for my raincoat, not so much.

Meeting the hunter at Tiraumea Hut.

Chatting to B at Bobs Hut.

Three Tarn Pass, obviously.

Camping up the top end of Lake Tennyson.

Climbing Paske Saddle.

Reminiscing with S and J at Paske Hut.

Given an apple at Connors Creek Hut!! Yay!!

Let’s hope there’s hitching to Nelson to add to that list.

I’ve often had issues at the end of long tramps, particularly when I run out of food.

As it turned out this last day was a surprise. I was up surprisingly early. Packed up and on the road early. None of the others were up.

I was happy to spend a little time trudging down the dusty Rainbow Road. A little of something can be a good thing.

I knew it was about 15 km to the Rainbow Skifield turn off. Maybe there would be traffic by then.


Instead just as I hit the sealed road I met a couple of cyclists who were heading for Lake Tennyson. They had a problem. They needed to have someone take their car from down at the highway junction back to Nelson.

“Here is the key.”

“But I’m just a random stranger whose sanity needs to be questioned after the last two weeks little escapade.”

“No worries.”

Details were swapped so that they could cruise by, and pick the car up in a few days.

“What’s the top speed?” I asked. “No, don’t worry, I’ll find out.”

The only issue: the car was still 16 km away. I was halfway there, but now I was walking on very solid asphalt road. Not as easy to walk on.

Half an hour went by as I wandered on.

The Slovakian cyclist biked past, and stopped for a very funny chat.

“Too easy!! Sitting on your arse!!”

He recommended I try it, and I promised I would.

I mentioned how I would prefer chatting to someone in a moving vehicle heading my direction. He understood.

I plodded on for another half hour. The first four-wheel-drive of the day going my way cruised past, then stopped, and I managed to squeeze in. Suddenly I was cruising at pace just as I had hoped, although I did wonder why I just hadn’t just sat by the side of the road after drinking a few more cups of coffee earlier on and saved myself all that effort. Anyway, I was heading straight to my transportation, a lot easier on my poor shins.

Soon I was in St Arnaud eating pork kebabs, and sautéed potatoes, and fresh greens and tomatoes in the company of people in clean neat attire, drinking cappuccinos, and talking real estate.

For once a meal that wasn’t boiled.

My body may take a week or so to recover before I launch into the next stage my summer.

Looked like my trip was now a memory.

← Day 18 | Connor Creek Hut, and the last big climb