Distance travelled today: 0 km
Choices and hard decisions.
Taking a day off after 7 days on the river provided an opportunity to get resupplied and start planning ahead for the next leg on Te Araroa. I still amazes me that for is a relative simple way of travelling across a country there is still quite a bit of organisation required, logistics and thinking ahead. Thinking about where I might be in say a week and planning according. This next section is no exception and there are quite a few things going on in the next few weeks. To start we I have 5 days to fill before meeting Sarah in Palmerston North; Wellington is not that far away and Jacinta is coming over for a long weekend on the 22nd.
Leading up to the 5th I had a few options. My main one was travel back north and complete the Tongariro Alpine Crossing but the weather just isn’t playing the game. The next 3 days are excpected to bring gale force winds, rain and the potential for snow with a low mixing level. While I’m confident I could handle the wind, with the rain comes cloud and I’m not sure I want to attempt the crossing with no views to he had across such spectacular country. What would be the point? And I don’t really have the time to sit and wait in National Park or Whakapapa for 3 days for the weather to clear. So it was that the really hard decision was made to skip the crossing and wait for another opportunity in the future. This is disappointing. It is the second time I’ve been pushed off the mountain due to bad weather and is a real highlight section of Te Araroa. So I’ll continue on foot and walk from Whanganui towards Palmerston North via Bulls and Fielding over the next few days. This also brings opportunities. Aaron, a blog follower, reached out and offered trail magic on my way through Fielding, offering a place to camp and a shower. That is perfect and yet another example of the amazing New Zealand hospitality. Thanks Aaron, I look forawrd to meeting you and your family. Continuing to travel south also sets me up well to meet with Sarah on time before we take on the Tararua Range.
With each step taken, Wellington approaches closer as well. Having a day off in town has allowed me to review my Interislander crossing from Wellington to Picton and ammend my travel date, bringing it foward by two weeks. In sponsoring my Te Araroa journey, Interislander provided a free and upgraded crossing of the Cook Strait. This was organised prior to leaving home and to confirm a ticket they needed to pencil in a date which at the time was Jan 28th. I’m way ahead of this date and it was great to be able to bring it forward. Thanks again Interislander. This also gives me some real focus now too. Having a date to aim for makes things all the more concrete and gives a solid dead line to finish the north island and move onto the south. I’m ready reaching a new milestone and at the moment it is finishing the north island. Although just out of Palmerston North in about five days I will reach the 1500km mark and the half way point. Wellington sits around the 1700 km mark.
The south island will be quicker than the north. Much more trail time and less towns to get caught up in wasting time and draining the bank account.
Skyping home last night, Jacinta and I nowvhave a vague plan to meet up on the weekend of the 22nd. This will give me plenty of time to cross over the south island and complete the Queen Charlotte Track section of Te Araroa. From there we will meet up, with me either hitching out to a town if I have a day spare for Jacinta meeting me near Havelock at the end of the QCT.
So, resupplied, a few weeks planned ahead and well fed in town, In had the opportunity to do a few toursity things around town.
It’s New Years Eve tonight and with the morning brings another year but for me it is just another day and tonight will be very quiet, getting packed up and making a few repairs to gear that is starting to shows the signs of 2 months thru hiking.