We were in no real rush this morning as we only had 21 km or so to get to Pelorus Bridge Campground so we finally got underway at 0930 after stocking up on a couple of things at the pharmacy and the supermarket. Ended up getting there at 1530 with a couple of breaks for smoko and lunch along the way. GPS for the day is here.
The first 3km was on the side of the highway before we ducked off onto a gravel road that took us across two bridges over the Pelorus River and onto Kaiuma Bay Rd - another gravel road that took us through farmland for 9.5km to Dalton's Bridge. As we crossed the second bridge we saw the TA sign pointing to the right when it should be to the left! I took a photo and sent it to Rob Wakelin at TA who replied and said it looked like the whole signpost had been rotated 180 degrees! Anyway, he was going to get one of his local contacts to have a look and sort it out to reduce any confusion!
The trip down the road was punctuated by large truck and trailer units going past with something like grain in them. About half way along the mystery was solved - it was chopped maize going into a silage pit, being compacted by a very large John Deere (I love big tractors, especially green and yellow ones) :-)
At Dalton's Bridge the track leaves the road and heads onto farmland - we stopped here in the sun for a half hour lunch before venturing off across the farmland. Basically we walked across pasture, and electric fences, for the next 6km alongside the Pelorus River. 1km from the campsite we entered a lovely bit of bush onto a loop walk that is well used by people stopping at Pelorus Bridge. Then it was across the road bridge to the DoC camp and cafe. It's a great site with excellent facilities, including hot showers! The managers are great and pointed us to a good spot to set up our tent. We then headed back to the café for food and drinks and to pick up the food parcel we had sent here. Spent half an hour repacking all that for our trek to St Arnaud and marveled at how bloody heavy our packs were going to be tomorrow!! All this done by 1730! Met a couple of young Americans, Jack and Alisa, who were heading sobo after completing the North Island.
We luxuriated in a hot shower and had some more food about 1930 before bedding down - hoping that the revellers next door wouldn't keep us up too late! Turns out they were cognisant of the 2130 quiet time!
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"!!