The last few days have been tough. The sun doesn’t seem to want to shine and it’s been cold. For the Montreal Canadians with us, it’s never too cold for Canadians. For this west coast girl, it’s very easy for it to be too cold. It’s easy to reflect though when you claim you’re miserable. I’ve been thinking about how I’ve changed. How even though I think I’m miserable, I am much more bad ass than I’ve ever been.
How I remember the first time I read I’d have to climb to 700m. Yes I know now that’s nothing but I was new to thinking in metre elevation when we started this. Now, anything under 1200m doesn’t seem too spectacular.
I also remember reading river crossing. How I cringed at knowing my feet would be getting wet. Now I get to the river and think can I keep my feet dry? No? No problem. Where’s safest to cross?
How a flat day of walking use to be the greatest reward after a tough stretch of mountains. Now flat walking is a mentally challenging day, simply covering more distance in a shorter amount of time to get us to the next mountain.
It has also become less of a race. On the North Island, we were always working to catch up to someone and overall to make it to Wellington. Now that we’ve made it to the South Island, each day is a day closer to our goal but also to the end of our walk and I’m realizing now I’m in no rush to get there yet.
I’ve stopped peer pressuring Matt by putting on my shoes and backpack before he’s even finished swallowing his lunch. Now I eat my lunch as slowly as he does because two minutes is not going to make a difference in my completely free of any scheduled activity day.
And that’s it for now. I feel free. I feel strong. I feel relaxed. I feel ready for another stretch of kilometres.
From Boyle Village to Arthur’s Pass…
We crossed a lot of rivers.
We stepped in a lot of cow pies.
We met some Swedish hobby fishermen.
We soaked in some natural hot springs along the Hurunui River on route.
We watched fresh snow dust the mountains as it rained coldly down on us at a lower elevation.
A weka kept nosying around our campsite.
A possum woke us up tapping on our hut window in the middle of the night.
I peed off a hut patio. One of the boys now.
We bushwhacked through a completely overgrown prickle patch.
We crossed our first emergency 3-wire bridge.
We hiked the Deception Mingha track which is part of the mountain run component of the Coast to Coast race. The track is literally the river and involves a lot of scrambling up large boulders and tons of river crossings as you get up to an elevation of 1100m. Lots of runners ran by as they trained for the big event which doesn’t roll around until February.
I wore my sleeping socks on my hands as gloves on our last day of walking.