We have had a couple of weeks at home doing a range of "catch-up" jobs and are now ready to start the South Island leg of TA! Franziska has been with us the whole time and is staying at home with the whanau for another week before heading up to Silverdale for Xmas with a family she met earlier on the trail. She is still in her moon boot for a few weeks to try and help the stress fracture heal!
Soon after getting home from Levin we made a decision that we should do the South Island northbound (nobo) rather than southbound (sobo). We had originally discussed doing this but had settled on sobo. However, after looking at all the spring weather issues as well as considering the earthquake aftermath, we decided to go nobo from Bluff - hopefully the late summer weather may be a bit more settled in the top of the south!! Wishful thinking??!
This required a bit of rearranging of trail notes and planning options, but nothing too major! Amelia and Franziska dropped us off at Wgtn airport for our 1000 flight to Invercargill today. The flight was delayed 30 minutes due to weather but was no problem as we had heaps of time at the other end. As expected it was a very bumpy ride out of Wellington. The 2hr flight was occasionally lumpy but not too bad - almost gale force westerlies in Invercargill made it a bumpy landing as well though.
We managed to buy Belinda a new Leatherman Squirt today as the last one mysteriously disappeared the day before we left - also stocked up on gas for the next couple of weeks. We have had a bit of sun, wind, rain, hail and thunderstorms this afternoon so who knows what tomorrow will bring, along with the gale westerlies, for our Bluff to Invercargill walk! At least we are staying in the same place tomorrow night so can have a "slack pack" day tomorrow - leaving much of our gear in our room for the day!
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!