Had the sun been shining all day, it would have been too easy. The sideways rain, gusts of wind, trucks roaring by and the extra weight of a bottle of champagne in each of our bags made for a memorable (as always) day of walking. Except for this was the last day. Not that any of us intended to outright stop walking after we reached Bluff but for the past week it’s felt as if it’s all been slowly coming to a close. Up until about a week before the end, we were always planning for the next day and not much further than that. This close to Bluff and our planning shifted from day by day to… today, tomorrow, BOOM- Bluff.
We’ve all been a bit antsy, anxious in a good and a bad way. After 125 days, we’re all ready to reach the end of our trail. At the same time, we’re all no where near ready to reach the end of our trail.
“125 days?! You guys are nuts” We’d hear this all too often. The truth is, walking when you’ve got all day to do it is surprisingly easy.
Think about it.
We wake up.
We set up our tent.
There you have it. A day in the life of a T.A tramper. Doesn’t sound horrible does it?
Anyways, like it or not, we were about to reach Bluff and that’s where the maps stop. So, with a bottle of champagne in our backpacks, we set off for 34 kilometres of track and road shoulder from Invercargill to Bluff.
The day started off gloriously sunny but as we walked, we watched the point up ahead slowly get swallowed up by rain clouds and soon enough we were in those rain clouds. Lucky for us, they came with a whole lot of wind! (I think you got that, but in case you didn’t- the “lucky” part was very sarcastic!). Nonetheless, we trucked on along down the highway road shoulder to the entrance of Bluff where we hopped off the road and onto a lovely trail on the seaward side of Bluff for the last 7km.
We could see Stirling Point (the Bluff signpost) from about 2km to the end of our track. We all skipped forward for a minute before quickly settling back down and taking in the last 2km slow and steady.
When we reached that lovely yellow sign, we linked arms and walked…
Jess latched on to the post for a few minutes. Brad struck a pose. Matt climbed up as far as he could. Matt lifted me up so I could hang like a monkey. It was quite the photo shoot.
Then, we popped our champagne bottles and celebrated.