9 Feb. Another different day from walking; a road trip to Akaroa, just south of Christchurch.
On an early start to collect a hire car from Omega Car Rentals, walking through deserted Christchurch streets at 07:30, I hear a shout “Hey Richard“. It was Mike Gilbert from Wellington out for a morning run. He was on a road trip south and had an overnight stop over in Christchurch. Beginning to feel very connected/followed!
Joey at Omega was very kind it sorting out a car at such notice. Nearly all cars were out for the Waitangi holiday weekend. Back to the hotel to pick up my gear and on to Miriam and Dan’s. Dan had an unfortunate accident with a wall cycling in Christchurch on Friday and broke several bones in his left hand. He has it cast, so we spent the rest of the morning getting stuff sorted out for their next stages. Miriam is going to skip a couple of sections and head down to Mesopotamia. Dan is going to stay around Christchurch. But today we are heading south to Akaroa for some kayaking.
I phoned the DOC Visitors Centre at Arthur’s Pass and they confirmed that my next section through Deception Valley and over Goat Pass is back to normal after the rain. So that looks good for a Tuesday start back on the Trail.
We took the coast road to Akaroa for some more dramatic scenery, driving via Pigeon Bay campsite to set up our tents. Then it was a late afternoon visit to the Akaroa waterfront for fish & chips and ice cream. At nearby Duchauvelle we met up with Paul Lelievre, a friend Miriam had made in Auckland through kayaking. Paul works for Fergs in Auckland and has been down for the Coast to Coast race providing kayaks. As it was getting late we decided to leave the kayaking for tomorrow morning.