I had a great night’s sleep despite an initial night time chorus of weka, and I woke before my alarm to a magnificent sunrise at 6am. Despite the altitude and breeze I still had condensation on the tent so I set to work doing the wipedown, then had breakfast overlooking the amazing view. I was joined by the mountain bike guys, and we warmed ourselves up in the sun.
I left at 7.15am and was soon up at the highest point on the track at 1450m on the Lyell range. The views all around from the ridge walk were splendid, especially looking down on the cloud covered valleys so far below.
From there it was a 25km downhill stretch on great track through beech forest. I passed numerous bikers asking the way. I reached Lyell campsite at 1.30pm.
I had a quick break and walked to the road to hitch back to St Arnaud. Luck was on my side. I waited about 20 mins before a lovely Canadian couple Tyler and Nicole stopped for me. They drove me to the 70kms or so to Kawatiri junction. At the junction I waited for about 5 mins before Anthony (Aussie) picked me up and took me to St Arnaud about 20kms away.
I checked into the Travers Sabine Lodge, hung up my tent to dry, and washed my shorts and vest. As I picked up a resupply box today (with shampoo in it) I also caved in and washed my hair, which I hadn’t washed for a month. I was experimenting with leaving it unwashed to see if it really does “take care of itself” and self-cleans/regulates. Judging by the state of it, it takes longer than a month before hair self-cleans!
In the evening I relaxed and waited for the rain to arrive. It’s raining tomorrow, so I’m taking a zero day in St Arnaud and will head South on Monday.