Te Araroa Trail Wellington
After a crappy sleep, I slept in until 9am today!!! I can’t even remember the last time I slept that late!
After coffee and breakfast I went shopping again in Wellington. I bumped into Susie and Bruno and Louis from the Tararuas while I was out and about.
Shopping for Gear
I bought a few more bits for the South Island. I bought a teeny tiny lightweight Sea to Summit ultra sil day pack from Bivouac, as I’ll need one on the South Island for when I cycle Tekapo to Lake Ohau. In addition, I took the advice of some previous Te Araroa trail hikers, and I bought a very lightweight pair of Outdoor Research Helium rainpants. I’m sending the rain skirt home. Pants will give more protection/warmth against the wind if the weather turns to custard on top of a mountain.
I bought some sample size bottles of shampoo/conditioner and hair oil (luxury!!) which I will treat myself to on Christmas day. I asked the lovely girl at the Elizabeth Arden counter if she’d give me some posh moisturiser samples – she did :-). Whilst shopping I bumped into my ex-boss, in the dept store.. Honestly, NZ is so small you can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone you know!!
In the afternoon I took my new tiny pack and walked the last 10kms of the North Island, which followed Wellington’s Southern Walkway up and over Mount Victoria and Mount Albert to Island Bay. I’d walked most of it already when I lived here before, but it’s so lovely I was glad to do it again.
It was wonderful to walk with a day pack!!! I was delighted to find that I’m still able to run (woo!!) and get up hills fast. Of course today I wasn’t carrying over a quarter of my own bodyweight on my back. I quietly wondered whether I’m fit enough for the huge South Island mountains. Today told me that I am.
Reflections of the North Island
When I reached the end of the North Island, I found the plaque officially recognising the end of the trail on the North island. Enjoying a quiet moment with myself, I reflected on the past couple of months and the achievement of having walked the entire North island! I wondered what the next few months would bring. This moment could only be celebrated with one thing.. a boysenberrt trumpet ice-cream.
I caught the bus back into the city, and was back in the CBD within 20 minutes or so. I was walking back to the YHA when I was spotted/recognised by a family I’d met at Otaki Forks just out of the Tararuas a few days ago – brilliant!
Best Fish n Chips in Welly
I enjoyed marvellous fish and chips, and a couple of ginger beers from the Mount Vic Chippery, before wandering down to the waterfront to spend a couple of hours people-watching in the evening sun. Back at the hostel I met my new intake of room-mates, and did my washing.
I’m happy to say that I think my feet are over the worst of it . After 2 hours in the sun earlier they’re less itchy and appear to be drying out – thank goodness!