31. Brown River – Perry Saddle (Heaphy Track 1/4)

Monday, March 13: Heavy rain overnight, changeable during the day, some more rain in the evening

Tramping: 16.1 km

Perry Saddle Hut (Doc, $32)

Woke up around 5:30 and discovered that I hadn’t turned on the alarm, so I did so and it did go off on time, although it was not entirely necessary. Breakfast was a couple of wheatbix, a bit of allbran, some yoghurt and what was left of some milk with one of the packaged coffees.

Threw everything else into the suitcase and dragged it into the hall. All the food fit on top of the backpack and a plastic bag full of clothes was used to pad the pack. Put some muesli bars into the top compartment for a second lunch and was ready to go just after 7:00. Read more…

30. Nelson

Sunday, March 12: Heavier rain overnight, clearing to cloudy during the day, a bit of drizzle in the evening

Elizabeth’s

Another relaxed breakfast with Elizabeth and Friederike. I took it it was time to start reckoning up so I gave Elizabeth a copy of the book which I dedicated to her and she asked me to sign her visitors’ book which I was happy to do. Having secured Elizabeth’s permission to leave my case here for the tramps before moving elsewhere, I confirmed a booking which turned out to be at the end of the street. Then it was to be a morning for sightseeing. The ladies had had differing success tangoing last night, with the younger Friederike having a better time and Elizabeth rather frustrated at not being able to find enough men. Read more…

29. Rainy Day in Nelson

Saturday, March 11: Rain overnight & continuing as light showers during the day, clearing by evening

Swimming: 1200 m

Elizabeth’s

The dancing girls had come home around one this morning but didn’t make a sound. I was ready for breakfast at 8:30 and it continued with the three of us for some time. Eventually I had to send a spot signal, confirm the two transport options that had been offered me right at the beginning and at the end. The final Intercity bus had to be booked and in going back one page I had reset the date to tomorrow, so that booking had to be cancelled and then the credit used for a new booking (very complicated and not well explained at all; directly changing the date on the booking didn’t seem possible, although that would have been the easiest solution; this then netted two booking fees of $4 apiece). Having sorted that out there were one or two things left to buy, and on my way to the supermarket found $2 on the street, as well as saving $3 via the tourist club card so everything was back in the green. Read more…

28. Nelson: Tahunanui Beach

Friday, March 10: Overcast during the day with some sunshine in the afternoon, rain expected in the evening

Walking: 8.1 km

Elizabeth’s

Another variation on Elizabeth’s breakfast this morning was to have weetbix with the ground up seeds, a plum and milk, and to forget the banana at some stage. Toast was a rather teutonic type of bread and it was plied with marmite. Not much sign of the torrential rainfall expected from the north.

First call of port was to tidy up the Wangapeka Track. Got an offer from Tapawera that they would pick me up and rent me a cabin for $75, which would have to be unbeatable. An Intercity bus @ full price can be cancelled up to two hours in advance for a full refund, but that has yet to be booked. In Karamea the very rainbowy Rongo Backpackers was taking $65 a night for a twin room plus $20 for a pickup which comes to much the same as Tapawera above, and was promptly reserved. Two things I will have to keep in mind: Taking enough cash to pay for everything, and a shopping list for Karamea. Shampoo & shower gel will have to be topped up before I go so that I can get some personal hygiene done in Karamea and Tapawera. And some decent meals. Read more…