Day 129 – Merrivale
There was a severe weather warning for the South Island of NZ particularly down south. The fiordland got most of it with the Southland where I currently am on. The TA getting less. However, when I woke up to the sound of rain and knowing up tp 40mm was predicted over the course of the morning I was happy to have a day off in a hut. So I read, watched movies on my phone and generally didn’t move from my sleeping bag, until the others arrived having spent the night and morning in town.
The rain cleared in the afternoon, but while it pelted down outside I was very happy with my decision.
Day 130 – Merrivale to machinery bushcamp – 36km (2895km total)
Shortly after setting out from Merrivale it started to rain. This was expected with showers forecast for the morning. However, I also knew it would get worse before it got better as dark cloud hung over the range we were heading into, with lighter clouds down on the plains.
The first 8km of the morning were on forestry roads, so while I rained I used my umbrella. It is so good a keeping me dry and not over heating like a rain jacket does. However, as the track entered long wood forest, the umbrella had to go away as it was useless with the overhang and the jacket came out. This was actually good as it got cold as I climbed and I needed the layer of warmth.
I climbed up into fog and up on the balds of the mountain top it was so windy that several times I was blown sideways. However, views of the ocean could be seen in the distance. The end is so close. Long wood forest is also know for being muddy. It was but it definitely did not compare to the North Island forests. Having said that I did slip and slide onto my butt several times today. In the last few weeks I had hardly fallen once, which is impressive for me, but today, I reckon I fell at least 6 times.
The last hut was only a 4 bed hut, so I pressed on with a couple of the other guys to a suggested clearing in the forest that camping was possible at, however, when we arrived 2 tents were already there. However, we made it work finding enough clear level ground to camp for the night.
Today I am thankful for views of the ocean.