Day 10: Birchwood Station to Telford Burn

A miracle has occurred.

I have wandered into my campsite for the night, after 11 hours on the trail, and my left foot has NO BLISTERS. My right foot seems to making up for it with a blister on each and every toe, but I don’t care. It proves that there can be an end to the long and twisty blister tunnel!

Today I walked over Mt Linton Station, a huge farm. The journey was frustrating for the most part, with my trail notes and trail signs saying I had a mere 19 km to walk today. It turns out that a new track was put in place at the beginning of the summer which is ten extra kilometres, and the markers are hard to spot in places. I got lost five or six times, but I did notice my trail instinct has sharpened; each time I got lost it only took me ten or twenty metres to know something wasn’t right, even if I was following a well formed path.

Until now the last four or five kilometres of each day have been tough, no matter the length of the day. They’ve been filled with small promises to myself – “One more corner and I’ll have a break” – and hugely focussed on my sore feet, my aching shoulders. Today I forced myself to adopt a new outlook, one that said “Well, I have to do this bit of the trail at some point, and it may as well be now, cos I’m here, and I don’t wanna have to come back”. It was a relief, and much more helpful!

It was also exciting in the last few kilometres to head away from farmland and into more rugged, mountainous territory. Te Anau is only three days away now, and I can tell.

The changing landscape.

I enjoyed picking wild mushrooms again today and I’ll be sad to leave them. As I write I am enjoying wild mushroom risotto, and I only wish I had someone to share it with! Camping alone is suddenly strange to me after three nights surrounded by hikers.

Dinner!

The next three days are relatively short by the looks of things, which I am grateful for. My poor right foot needs a chance to catch up to the highly advanced left.

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