Did it have to happen?

Maybe. Wet, wet tent in the morning from dew and condensation, a stonking wet tent. Then it started raining lightly around 3pm, stopping briefly while I made dinner, then starting up just after the tent went up.

I spoke to one woman today about the lack of a view, low cloud, mist, obscuring much of the vista. To me this was a simple observation but she quickly turned it around by stating how much they needed rain.

What about next week, I thought, by then I’ll be snug in my own bed at night, not climbing into said wet tent and damp sleeping bag. She clearly doesn’t live in a tent.

I’m not too concerned, it’s warm enough and I’m only planning on two more nights out before I’m in that cosy bed.

The reality is that I’ve been extremely lucky with the weather for the most part for the entire trip. For all those gloomy, full cloud days there has been little rain, at least during the day. When it has rained I’ve often been resident in a hut for the night, ie, Stone, Bobs, East Mataki, Middy, etc. And it’s not like there’s a serious problem with a big river crossing, or snow on the way. Dampness will dry out, eventually.

Oh, I should mention I made it to the end of the trail, Ship Cove.

If it hadn’t been for the James Cook connection, he’s been one of my few heroes since I was about nine years old, I might have abandoned the last 50 km. Anyway you can see why he stayed there five times in all, spending decent lengths of time recharging his batteries in this gloriously picturesque bay.

I could go into great raptures about what it was like but suffice it to say that there were plenty of drenched wekas down there and the curious chunky monument to Cook.

The continuing rain dampened my enthusiasm for exploring the cove. I sat in the shelter for a while, until I got quite cold, watching the rain come down, no particular sense of elation. You might have thought that I’d be excited, take 100 selfies, jump up and down, etc, but I’m curiously flat.

So, I have finished the South Island half of Te Araroa and am now going to head back to Anakiwa post-haste.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Schoolhouse Bay campsite

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