Te Araroa Trail Pakituhi hut to Wanaka
When you’re contemplating your commute to work, and when the traffic lights take too long to change, or the train is 3 minutes late etc.. spare a thought for the crazy Te Araroa trail hikers somewhere out there in Kiwiland, who are descending some gnarly, vertiginous ridge walk with a perilous drop, half scared out of their mind.
This is how my morning started whilst descending from Pakituhi hut to Gladstone road.
The trail notes called it a ‘challenging’ section, and for good reason. After another awful night sleep I wasn’t really in the mood for anything difficult, but there was no other way to get down the mountain, so I had to pull up my big-girl-pants and carefully get on with it.
Facing the fear…
Thank goodness today was dry again this morning. Underfoot was loose sandy/rock/shale. I was almost paralyzed with fear of slipping off the edge and plummeting.. definitely a non-surviveble fall.
I thought as I descended, half petrified… about how I let the little things in daily life and work cause me a lot of anxiety throughout my life. There’s nothing like a good dose of actual fear to sweep all that aside and make you realise how uneccessary the ‘imagined‘ fear is. I will think about mornings like this the next time I find myself getting worked up about something silly.
So I concentrated on getting down the mountain, and in a couple of hours it was all over and I was on the shore of Lake Hawea.
I started the Gladstone track – a lovely wide, gently undulating cycle/walking track. I looked back at the mountains and it seemed like an hour ago I was in another world!
The Gladstone track became the Hawea river track. Again it was pretty flat, easy walking. I covered the kilometres pretty fast as I was carrying very little food. Half way along the river track I came upon a great swimming spot at the Hawea Whitewater park. I didn’t fully swim but I had a paddle and a bit of a wash.
I reached Albert Town, and was only after a cold drink, but as amazing luck would have it I discovered a newly-opened English fish & chip shop. I enjoyed a huge late lunch and bought 2 packets of Frazzles and a packet of Rolos!! It would have cost me a quarter of the price in the UK, but it was great nevertheless.
Albert Town to Wanaka
Back on trail again, I had about 13 Kms to go. On the flat around 5 or 6 kms an hour is do-able, so I was happy I didn’t have too much more ahead of me. There was definitely a touch of weariness about me after such a huge lunch. I chatted to several people en-route including a lovely dog walker who offered me a lift to Wanaka (with about 8kms to go). I was very tempted, but the day was sunny and warm and the trail was nice & flat so I carried on.
Arriving in Wanaka
I got into Wanaka and called into the supermarket. You’d think it was Christmas it was so busy! I forgot that I was entering the madness of one of the biggest tourist areas of New Zealand. Wanaka lakefront is nothing like I remember it from 12 years ago. It’s gone pretty upmarket and is catering for the masses – loads of bars/restaurants along the lakeshore etc. loads of little boutique shops & outdoor stores.
I was relieved to get to the Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park. I was absolutely knackered, so I treated myself to a cabin. After the past few days I wanted a decent night’s sleep, and a bit of alone time. I had a shower and spent the remainder of the evening eating, and catching up on social media etc..
My Poor Feet!
My feet are in a terrible state, and are agonizingly itchy and sore. I’ll contact my doctor tomorrow. Doctor Google tells me it’s “dyshidrotic eczema”. This no doubt has beeen brought on by having permanently wet feet. I kept a bottle of cold water by my bed and pressed a cold cloth onto the affected areas for a couple of hours. This relieved the itching but the blisters are getting really bad, and are now all over my feet including toes, sides and underside of feet – Yikes!
I’ve decided to take a day off tomorrow as it’s going to rain, so a day indoors, with WiFi will give my poor feet a chance to dry out!