Left just after 0700 and ended up doing 34km in 8 hours of walking. The GPS data is here.
We headed off first as Viggo was still asleep outside! We shot down the steep hill past the hut to the creek (dry foot). We then walked along Camp Stream for about 2km to the junction with Coal River, which was inevitably a wet foot crossing! We headed off down the true left of Coal River but after only 900m or so came to an orange pole pointing us up a steep climb. The initial steeper bit was about 500m long (160m vertical) but further climbing ensued until we started across more rolling tops. The notes say that you climb up to meet the road, but the road is actually quite some distance away! We carried on across rolling tussock until we reached the skifield road after 1h45 and 5.2km. We stopped here for a break and for B to rearrange her innersoles which were bunching up - not comfortable!
We then headed off following what appeared to be a bike trail with a narrow little track that was near impossible to walk in. This was not the most exciting part of the day as we slowly descended towards Boundary Creek and then, parallel to this, down to the carpark at the road. Unfortunately as we were about a km away from the carpark I had a random stumble and twisted my ankle resulting in a bit of a sprain. We stopped at the carpark and I put some Voltaren cream on it and took some ibuprofen to try and ease it.
Reinforced with anti-inflammatories, we carried on and walked the remaining 17km into Tekapo, although it wasn't the most comfortable walk for me! This was pretty much all gravel road walking apart from the last bit into the township. The guys caught up with us while we were having lunch, sheltering from the wind behind a large rock. We arrived in Tekapo and noted the large number of tourists at the Church of the Good Shepherd - the photo below was actually taken by B on an early morning walk the next day, when tourist numbers were significantly less!! We walked to our lodgings and settled in to a 6-bed bunk room all to ourselves, with a rest day already planned for. This was handy as the ankle was quite swollen by now! Went out and had a lovely meal to top up our reserves! Caught up with the guys on our way out of the restaurant and joined them to chat and have a nightcap before heading back to the hostel and bed.
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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"!!