Day 96. Anne Hut – Boyle. 29km. Total 2061km.
Everyone is up at 6am and it feels very rushed to have breakfast and pack up our stuff. It’s been raining at night and I was so happy about being inside the hut! We hike out into the drizzle and my feet are already wet after 10minutes of walking in the wet high grass, rain and mud pools. It will be one of those days where I am not really enjoying the hike but rather just wanting to arrive. The trail would probably be quite nice without the rain but not exciting at all in.any case, especially after all the beauty we saw the last days.
After 4.5h we reach the Boyle Flat hut over a swingbridge and have lunch inside where it’s dry. Two DOC workers are doing a tough job of cleaning the whole hut and surroundings. It’s an old hut though and I am happy I don’t have to stay here. One hour later we continue in a bit miserable hours as I am wet and just want to be in Boyle for a hot shower and relaxing.
At 4pm we are finally at the Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre. We get two beds in a wonderful cottage where just one other person is, with a small kitchen, bathroom and even a washing machine included. The food parcel arrived and they also have the cheese and gas I ordered! I feel much better after the shower.
Day 97. Boyle – Hanmer Springs. 0km on trail. Total 2061km.
It rained the whole night and continues this morning. An extreme weather alert has been issued for the Canterbury region I am hiking through next with heavy rain and gale force winds. The concerned Te Araroa hikers are advised to wait out the extreme weather before continuing. I had been in doubt the whole night whether to continue or not, but there are many rivers to cross in the next section and I don’t want to put myself in danger. So I take the reasonable (but difficult to accept) choice and decide to hitchhike to Hanmer Springs. The lady at the outdoor centre advises the same… Peggy already decided two days ago that she will skip the section from Boyle to Arthur’s Pass. Her missing insole (stolen by the Weka) is now a problem and she was in so much pain I gave her mine for a few days.
So we wait at the road with our two signs for 5 minutes when a nice guy comes down from Boyle Village and is indeed going to Christchurch! He drops me off at the intersection to Hanmer Springs while Peggy can continue with him. Not even 2 minutes later I am picked up already for the few remaining kilometres into town. The YHA is small, nice and clean and has a bed in a 3 bed female dorm for me! Great! I immediately walk to the supermarket to buy fresh food and then use more Wi-Fi. The sun is shining though and I have doubts about my decision – but who knows how it looks like at the other side of the mountains where I was this morning! Better be safe than sorry and enjoy a day off, hopefully I can continue tomorrow!