2528 – 2560 Lake Hawea

At some point someone worked out that we did roughly 2000m of elevation changes today. It certainly feels like it.

The first order of the day was 9.7km of rough terrain down the banks of the Timaru River until reaching a path that the notes say,”climbs steeply to the treeline” in a classic peice of understatement. 900m elevation up a shitty bluff would have been closer to the truth.

The next part of the track was listed as a Te Araroa highlight and it was. It ended up on Breast Hill 1578m overlooking Lake Hawea and Mt Aspiring national park before “descending steeply” down to the lake.

Dinner was a seafood salad and a bottle of Coopers Creek Pinot Noir, for medicinal purposes, whilst the mountains we had descended glowed rose in the sunset.

2501 – 2528 Timaru River

Nice sunrise, long day.

We tried to get out early as there was a buildup of T.A. walkers at the river. Further up the valley we found out there was about to be a buildup of cyclists as well as the “Pioneer” bike race is on.

Angelynn wanted to take a slightly alternative route, basically ridgeline instead of valley, and I said I would join her. Good decision.

The first hill was fairly steep but we were entertained by the mountain bikers getting off and pushing their bikes. Angelynn was being very supportive, clapping and encouraging them, where as I thought cries of,

“Your almost halfway there!”

…had a definite downside to them.

Once on top of the ridgeline things got considerably easier and we were treated to one landscape on one side of us and another on the other.

I also found a hat. It is a little to small for me (eg: I’m slightly bigheaded) but it works. The beard on the other hand is terrible. How do people deal with them? The hair in your mouth, the left over food… not for me I think. Which is a pity because I always wanted one. Perhaps another trim.