March 6, 2017
km traveled today: 18
total TA km: 2770
Today was a straightforward short day into town. Days getting into town always feel strange given the big difference between where you wake up and where you go to bed. For example, we woke up at our campsite atop a riverside bluff to ripping wind with gorgeous views of the previous days’ bushy valley walk. Now, i’m ready to sleep in my comfy bed in the Te Anau YHA with a belly full of meat pie and tortellini. The contrast definitely makes time fly.
We got walking at around 8:00 after a super windy night. Our spot was nice but definitely more exposed than anything else so far. To date we’ve been quite good at moving on from exposed sites, but we really had no other options as the camping by the river was total shit (literally shit as it was a clear route for moving livestock). The walking was mostly flat but constantly scratchy as a result of gorse, thistle, and what Shep refers to as “spiky kale.” The sun lit up the grassy landscape beautifully and, with the exception of the super scratchy bits of walking along a station fence, the morning flew by.
We reached the gravel road at around 10:30 AM.
Given the absence of any vehicles, it was clear we wouldn’t be getting lucky with an early hitch. We made pretty quick work of the gravel road and reached highway by lunchtime.
We hitched easily into Te Anau after Shepard and I played a few rounds of our favorite hitching game: “Hit a Chosen Target with a Rock Before the Other Person Does.” He won. He always wins.
We settled into the Te Anau YHA and then headed into town to grab a meatpie or two or three or four. We decided to stay in town tomorrow so we could check out the Te Anau glowworm tour across the lake. (Edit: This turned out to be SO worth it. If you are unsure about taking a zero in Te Anau, definitely do it if it means you get to see the glow worm caves).
We grabbed dinner supplies at the Freshchoice and headed back to the YHA where we relaxed for a while and enjoyed the sunny barbecue area until we were hungry enough to make dinner and settle down in front of the TV to watch The Usual Suspects. Now we’re ready to crash and go check out some awesome caves tomorrow for our zero day. Pretty good walking this morning followed by a nice afternoon in town.