Today was a relatively simple walk into St Arnaud. We got away just before 0800 - it wasn't a long day but we thought we might minimise traffic problems if we could walk the road earlier on a Sunday morning. It was about 18km in total to get to Alpine Lodge and we arrived at about 1230 with only a brief stop on the way for a rest and snack. The GPS data for the day is here.
It was chilly and misty this morning so we both had an extra layer on. We made a rookie mistake by initially heading off in the wrong direction for 200m or so - didn’t feel right when we were heading uphill!!! A quick correction saw us onto an obvious 4wd track as per the notes :-( The first 5 km were down this easy, wide 4wd track before the next 2km through a bit of native and exotic forest brought us to SH63.
Of course, since the earthquake, SH63 has become part of the new main route between Picton and Christchurch so is somewhat busier than might otherwise be expected. All in all though it wasn't too bad, albeit it did involve climbing as we had dropped height considerably in the previous 7km!!
Rocked into the luxury of a room at the Alpine Lodge and eventually decided we would take a full 2 days to rest up and sort out resupply (our box had arrived here no problem), washing (clothes and bodies after 8 days!) and equipment issues (possibly a trip to Nelson). Being Sunday it was the famous BBQ buffet night here at Alpine Lodge, so B and I both tucked into that before retiring for the night!
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"!!