Day 68-69. Wellington. 0km on trail.
Having 4 nights in Wellington should give me some rest. At least that’s what I thought. But the first night was just after hiking in, the next day I still had to finish the trail and organise quite a lot of things, buy some new/replacement gear… And I still had to organise the food parcels for the South Island – almost a full day.
But first, some pics of my great relaxing day with my friend Coco. It was her birthday and she arrived in the morning (after I got my hair cut, pretty short now!), I was waiting for her with a cake and lit the candles as a surprise. Then we drove in her car to the Red Rocks, walking around there on an easy trail and enjoying the sunny day without wind (very special in a city where the wind blows at over 60kph for 173 days a year). We didn’t see any seals, they are rather around in the winter season.
Then a drive to a cute cafe, picking up a coffee and eating it outside with the birthday cake. We then drove all the way around the coastline, stopping every now and then for views or ice cream. It was awesome for me to be sitting in a car and just looking outside without any effort. And how wonderful to see Coco again, so much to catch up upon.
The evening is spent first at the waterfront with some sparkling wine, followed by Sweet Mother’s Kitchen for dinner (recommended by the TA Facebook family, thank you!) together with my hiker friend Josee. We then venture around Cuba Street and end in a cool place, Golding’s Free Dive, for a cider. This bar could totally be right in Berlin. Perfect relaxation Day!
The next day is the opposite. Coco has to return the car at 10am so I already leave at 6.30am with the car for the supermarket Pack’n’Save. Usually it’s good and cheap, but this one isn’t as well stocked and cheap unfortunately. I have to buy food for 20 days of hiking for Peggy and me, plus the food for the 4 days of hiking on the Queen Charlotte Track for the three of us. It takes me about 90 minutes in the supermarket to decide on everything I need. Back in the hostel and while Coco returns the car, I start unpacking all the food, repackaging it divided into three parts and two persons for my three resupply points in St. Arnaud (8 days of food), Boyle (8 days) and Arthur’s Pass (4 days). There won’t be any supermarket coming in between and even after Arthur’s pass we will have to hitchhike about 50km into Methven to resupply there and get some fresh food after such a long stretch without resupply. I also packed food for the maximum number of days. Just for me I would have packed less, by now I know I am always faster than indicated timings, but Peggy will need some time to get adjusted. In case of bad weather we also might have to wait it out and I think there’s nothing worse than arriving in the middle of nowhere knowing you might not have enough food waiting for you. I rather give away food than not having enough.
After a quick lunch I finally can put everything into boxes I got from the YHA and the supermarket, write adresses and tape it up. It’s so heavy, I cannot carry it to the post office about 1km away. What should I do? Take a taxi? Even with Coco we cannot carry it. I ask a couple who just arrived by car and the guy agrees to drive me to the post office. There’s only space for me so I will meet Coco later. It’s traffic jam time and takes a long time for the 1km, plus the car cannot actually drive into the street of the post office. With my three heavy parcels (2x 11,5kg and 1x 5kg as I will find out in the post office) I have to walk about 100m, stopping every 10m to rest my arms. Posting them isn’t cheap either so this has been a very expensive day so far! At 3pm I am finally done, it took me more than 8h to organise everything and it was a big task.
I am tired and happy to now take a coffee with Coco, walk around the town a bit further and even enjoy the great Te Papa national museum until it closes at 6pm. We head back to the YHA next door to now pack our bags, heaving a hard time to fit in the food. There’s a supermarket in Picton but it’s small and we thought it’s easier to have everything done at once and relax I’m Picton.
For dinner it’s pizza from Pizza Pomodoro, recommended by my Canadians Matt and Quinn. While we wait for the pizza we walk around a bit further, there are so many cool bars and great restaurants around! We enjoy the pizza back in the hostel together with some vine, delicious!