Suddenly it hit me.

The last day, and my circuit was just about over.

I try not to dwell on any end-of-trip feelings, or start to anticipate the next shower or pizza that I noted that others had written about in the hut book.

It helped that for the last few days, actually the entire trip, has had sufficient to keep my mind occupied.

Bogs, rain, long days, rising tides, greasy blogs on slopes, swamps, etc.

I was obviously physically tired after my sprint towards Freshwater Hut, then climbing Rocky Mountain, followed by yesterday’s charge up Thompson Ridge and my thigh-deep wade around Patterson Inlet/Whaka a Te Wera.

Those exertions hadn’t always led to quick, sound sleep, just physical overtiredness.

This morning was going to be the long trudge through regenerating bush, logged 100 years or more ago, on the very different Rakiura Track. Mostly in a generally well-graded aspect but mud is still something to be negotiated. On the shorter walk I’m generally able to discern the fast and easy path to avoid the worst of it.

The track is long enough, 12 km, to seem endless.

First through the regen bush as mentioned, then on Kaipipi Road, an old road for cars and trucks from 100 years ago. Then the actual last 2 km on a gravel road, that eventually turns into asphalt.

Three women were encountered out exercising: one walking to North Arm and back for the day, one running not as far, and another walking with her dog in proximity to her car.

It’s a different world from which I left.

Still almost full lockdown, Level 3, although all the other trampers were allowed to return home and had recently left the island.

If I chose to go home at this stage, I’d have 48 hours to legally get to the other end of the South Island, no stops allowed.

Or, I can stay here on the island for another week, let my body recover, and if we go down another level, then take my time to return.

I signed on at the backpackers for a week, and was inserted into the staff quarters where there are two professional divers resident who work on the salmon farms each day.

It’s a lovely day. Rakiura has a bit more for me to appreciate.

Real life can wait.

← Day 20 | North Arm Hut