Te Araroa Trail Day 117. Nelson – Zero Day off trail

I enjoyed a lovely sleep back in my old dorm room in Nelson. I woke at a reasonable hour and enjoyed a leisurely brekkie.
Then something really weird happened! A couple of days ago, when I left Monkeys backpackers in Riverton (before I caught the minibus to Invercargill) I wasn’t able to pay for the hostel. When I left, there was a large board at the front door saying guests should pay at the cafĂ© opposite. So I dropped my key in the box and went over to the cafe. There was no-one there. As I couldn’t get back into the hostel I immediately called them. No-one answered, so I left a message explaining the situation, and asked them to call me with their bank account details & I’d do an online $ transfer.

Long story short, this morning the hostel manager contacted me. During my text/phone conversations the ‘manager’ (with intellectual ability and charm of Donald Trump) refused to give me a bank account number, and told me to send cash in the post – which wasn’t going to do as I’ve lost cash in the post before. He got really irate when I asked for the owner’s number so I could explain it to them, and, hopefully, get their bank details. I never got the bank details and they never got paid.

Back in the real world… This morning I spent a couple of hours in the ISite/DOC office, and further to checking the weather every few hours for the past 3 days, and changing my mind just as frequently, I’ve decided to skip the Richmond ranges – again!! Rain is heading in again at the weekend/next week right when I’ll be going over the peaks and the river crossings.
As much as it pains me I really do only want to do thios section when there’s a big fat high pressure system over the area.

Further to a chat with Llew last week, and with DOC today, I have decided to walk an alternative track out West called the “Old Ghost Road”. This is one of the newest mountain bike/tramping tracks from Seddonville to Lyell. It’s easy walking, bridged rivers, and do-able in the rain. From there I can either hitch to St Arnaud, or pop into the Nelson Lakes from the West. I get a bus to Seddonville tmrw morning.

I spent the rest of the morning bimbling around, and in the afternoon I went to the cinema on the recommendation of my parents, to see the ‘Darkest Hour’, a film about Winston Churchill, which was excellent. In the evening I packed my rucksack for tomorrow which is really heavy with food again, and chatted with my dorm buddy Jane. After this few days off, I’m really looking forward to my new off-trail adventure tomorrow!!

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