2333 – 2373 Lilybank Road

I have no idea why we walked so far today. We started at 7:30AM and reached Royal Hut at about 10:30AM to begin our ascent of Stag Pass. This was protracted but wasn’t as bad as expected. It was windy at the top though so instead of walking the ridgeline as so many recommended we followed the Te Araroa trail down into the valley until we reached Camp Hut at around 3:00PM.

I think I initially came up with the idea to keep walking in order to cut down on the long walk to Tekapo but Silvan wholeheartedly joined in and before I knew it we were on the Two Thumbs track and had decided to keep going until Lilybank Road.

Two Thumbs track is amazing by the way. Over a terrace with mountains on one side and Lake Tekapo and the Southern Alps on the other.

We reached Lilybank Road at roughly 9:00PM and set up camp before the light fled.

2316 – 2333 Stone Hut

Left Geraldine fully powered by the influence of two pies and a coffee. Actually the pies weren’t that good although the ‘world famous’ venison pie was slightly better than the steak and mushroom.

I should have got the ‘world’s largest burger’ last night but I chickened out. Not even I can justify eating a 2kg pattie for $55 although there was a rumour this morning that if you eat it in under 1/2 an hour you get your money back. But I digress.

Wayne (our driver) is a great guy from Geraldine farming stock so I was forced to bring into play my vast farming knowledge gleaned from Johnny and Christina and various other conversations. Things like this.

“I’ve just got 20 Jersey bulls brought in”

“Core, they’re vicious bastards aren’t they?”

“Yeah. I have to keep them in a different field otherwise they rape the Angus bulls.”

“Mind you, I hear they are worse if there is any blood around”

“Yeah. Bloody terrible then.”

“Of course, birthing blood is OK”

“That’s true. Hey, would you like to see some Tar?”

And so on. After about an hour we got to the trail head and started up Bush Stream, over Crooked Spur and carried on to Stone Hut. Hopefully the weather holds out as tomorrow we go over the highest point of the T.A. at Stag Saddle.