8 Mar. An update on donations. There have been 73 donations overall for the two charities. Thank you to everyone for giving something, it is greatly valued and appreciated. In all, the total is over $5,400. Hopefully there will be a few more donations as I finish.
Tomorrow I will have been walking for two months. My legs have been going well and I am pleased to have avoided injuries. I have covered 970km of the trail, which is three quarters of the total distance. The terrain ahead is not as rugged so the average daily distance will probably increase. My planning schedule estimated 23 Mar for the end point at Bluff, and progress is on track for that. All the big rivers have been crossed, so the forecast rain next week will be just uncomfortable rather than progress halting.
As I have already walked the Wanaka to Queenstown section, today is where I catch another bus to skip ahead to Queenstown. But before that, a walk to Mitre 10 to get some cheap gas to refill my gas canister. Tim left early for a weekend project building small ski touring huts (turks) from large water tanks. They can be lifted into the mountains by helicopter. I filled my pack again and walked the couple of km into central Wanaka. Had a cafe brunch while I waited for the 13:30 minibus departure with Ritchie’s. $30 for a 1:45 hour trip via Cromwell to Queenstown.
Mark kindly booked me in at the Bella Vista Motel again and after buying a few food provisions, we met at Pog Mahones Irish bar for a couple of beers, a great steak and ale pie and a social catch up. Mark hadn’t seen me for at least 4 months and noticed my trimmer physique!
Tomorrow I take the 08:00 shuttle with Glenorchy Journeys to the start of the next section on the other side of Lake Waikatipu at the Greenstone River valley. I next emerge near Te Anau in about 5 days around 13 Mar.