Monday, 12 January 2015

Day 70. Havelock to Pelorus Bridge.

Today 20 km. Total 1790.5 km. 4 hours 45 minutes (0830-1315).

I had a sleep in and then headed for a cafe for a pie, coffee and orange juice for breakfast.  At 0830 I was in my way.

There was a road walk for a couple of km that I really enjoyed as the views were great and there was a decent shoulder to walk on. At one big bend there was a nice gravel path over the barrier.

Someone with a sense of humour

At Te Hoiere Road there was a decision point.  The trail notes said to keep on the main road to Daltons Bridge but the map showed going over farmland and the river then following a gravel road.  I went with the map option as there was a TA marker and it avoided the main road. It was actually a gravel road not farmland and was a lovely road.  I am not sure if it was the caffine still in my system from breakfast but I felt really good and was zooming along. It was great to be road walking with no shin pain. My pack was the lightest it has been for ages, though still 5 days food less lunch.

Crossing the Bridge

Some company for the 5 seconds before they noticed me and ran off

After 2 hours 15 minutes I finished the road walk and now it was onto Daltons Track which was through farmland next to the river. This meant lots of stiles and electric fences to climb and the grass was long meaning I had to lift my feet more than normal.  In one part I walked through a turnip field and these are hard to walk on. Imagine someone has scattered hundreds of tennis balls in long grass and you now have to walk over this.

As I had heaps of time today I was noticing the little things and took the time to photograph them today.

Start of Daltons Track

Cicada Skin


Turnip Field

No idea what type of flower this is

I felt like the pied piper of bumblebees today. I am used to them hanging around occasionally as they like the colour of my top but today was ridiculous.  I don't think there was a time during this part of the walk where I didn't have at least one bumblebee hanging around.  At one stage I had 4 of them following me. I don't mind them flying around as they are not aggressive but it is unnerving when I know they have landed on my shirt and I can't see where.  I am always worried about squashing one by mistake when this happens.

The track started heading into bits of scrub to cross streams and then went into bush. It was such a relief to be out of the blazing sun that I just stood there for a little bit absorbing the shade and the sights, smells and sounds of the bush. There was a good sign explaining the Mast and how this effects rodent numbers.  Also this bush is home to the Long Tailed Bat which along with the short tailed bat are the only mammals native to NZ.

The trail is a little overgrown in the stream crossings but there are not many and the rest of the trail is good

Great explanation of Mast and effects

Wonderful bush, a relief on a hot day

After 900 meters I was at Pelorus Bridge.  There were heaps of people swimming and the Cafe was full. I brought some drinks and food, picked up my resupply parcels and checked into my campsite.  I met Mike and his wife while having lunch and they were asking lots of questions about the trail.

Swingbridge in Pelorus bush just short of the road

Lots of people swimming near Pelorus Bridge

I walked down the road to the campground and was happy with my site.  Shady and close to the toilets but not in the path to them. After setting up my tent I sorted my food. It seems a lot and is really heavy. I have 7 days supply which allows for a wet weather day but have some leftover so actually have a little more so will have to eat it quickly.

Night 70

As there was no Internet I just relaxed and read which was great. I talked to a couple of Swiss guys doing TA but they struggled with my accent and conversation was not easy. I  headed back to the cafe for some coffee and spent the rest of the day vegging out


  1. You mentioned us "Had lots of people asking about the trail". Yeah, we made a blog :)

  2. You were right on your reply to my previous comment - the south island (and the pictures you've taken of it so far) are absolute stunning and now I want to go even more! I got chills looking at your 'crossing the bridge' picture. Hard to believe that's a real place (especially while I'm buried under a Canadian winter).

    1. I guess you will need to book your ticket once you see the pictures from the mountains. Sorry to be teasing you so much :)