Machinery Bushcamp to Riverton – 34km (2929km total)
With the sun rising later and later the further south I go and the closer to winter it gets, this morning was the latest I have ever managed to sleep in while in a tent. It was just before 8am when I woke up. I was impressed, that was close to 10 hours of sleep.
The morning wasn’t as cold as I expected it to be and it was fine to get out of my tent and get ready. It was only 11km to the exit I was planning on taking to get out of the forest, but the track was one last punch from the TA, with lots of down trees to clim over, clay soil that while wasn’t deep mud was very slippery and cause a Bambi on ice effect at least once every 100m and lots of little creek beds to climb down into and back out of again. The TA just isn’t made for people with short legs and no coordination. Several times I got to a little creek that I needed to get down into and my legs were just 10cm too short to do it as a step and instead I had to butt slide in the mud. Thanks TA. I won’t miss your muddy forests. Consequently, I was quite happy to take an exit out of the forest and not do the whole track. The exit lead me out on to farm land, through cow manure (Thanks again TA) and then out onto a road, where I walked the rest of the way into town.
In town it was to the Tavern for $10 burgers and a cider. Low tide was at 2.30pm so it was perfect timing to walk the beach into Riverton during the afternoon. So after a little too long spent at the tavern, I set out to beach walk. Finally back to the beach again, the first time since the North Island. However, it was no walk on the beach. Another final punch from the TA. It was pebbly sand that you sank into and made for slow going. So I climbed up into the dunes hoping the grass would be quicker, it was, but then the track went up the cliffs above the sea and was uneven with little inlets to climb down into and back up again. Which again made for slow going. However, finally, I made it into Riverton. Where I washed the past two days of mud off, me and my clothes. I was a tough choice, did I want to look like I had walked 3000km in my final photo or did I want to be clean. Being clean won out.
Today I am thankful for exits onto roads and off of muddy tracks.