We all had a leisurely morning, probably because it was so cold. I was the first one off at 0745.
It was misty and really cold. Within 5 minutes my hands were numb and I was tempted to get my gloves out but I knew the track dropped altitude quickly and I would be warm soon. There were heaps of sections of boardwalk and I was moving quickly and reached the bushline where it was warmer and my hands began to thaw - ow!
The track was familiar having run it a few times but I don't remember it being so rough with roots and rocks. Despite this I was making good time and the climb up Dudleys Knob was easier than I remembered. Now it was a bit more bush then into the river flats alternating between river stones and trails through scrub. It didn't seem long before I could see the road and after an easy crossing of the Bealey River I reached the road at 1120. There was not much traffic so I was happy that within 10 minutes I got a ride with two trampers to Arthurs Pass.
My stomach was better with only a few twinges but was still bloated.
There I checked into the Mountain House YHA Backpackers and picked up my resupply parcel. I was impressed with the backpackers. Friendly staff, unlimited WiFi that was fast, clean and well equipped. And with my Low Carbon discount only $19.
As they were still cleaning i went straight to the General Store for a lovely Chicken and Camenbert Pie, hot chips with vinegar and a cupaccino. I sat outside and received the Kea warning speil. Apparently they were on form today and stealing lots of food directly off people's plates. I ended up sitting with the couple who had given me a ride. They were waiting for her parents before starting a two day tramp. We were entertained watching the Kea. One of the waitresses had a squirty bottle to try and teach the Kea not to steal food but the minute she went away they came back. It is harmful for Kea to eat our food as it is too rich for them. I suggested to the lady that she gives me the bottle which she did so I had fun squirting the Kea but they quickly learnt my range. She gave a bigger bottle to the guy and the Kea got a few hits until they learnt the range of that one too
I headed back to the Backpacker and after a long hot shower I did my laundry and updated my blog. I was regularly interrupted as the room filled and introductions were done. I had a break for an ice cream and when I struggled with the rubbish bin lid I realised that it was weighted to stop the Kea opening it.
For dinner I had fish and chips, seeing Michael at the cafe, but could not eat more than half as my stomach was still bloated. It was so frustrating as they were so good and I knew my body needed them.
At dinner it was Daniela and myself but this quickly turned into a full table with the whole dorm room and a guy. We were a mixed bunch. Daniela is a wood joiner from Switzerland. Jette is in Marketing from Germany. Kate is a jewellery designer from Birmingham English, Caroline is in council management from England and the guy whose name I didn't catch is from Israel. At 2300 I went to bed, really late for me.