I may have cheated today.
Over breakfast I met another camper, Hannes from Austria, who had done some of Te Araroa this season and then stopped and hired a car. He was heading to Havelock, and I gladly accepted the ride. I assured myself that it was OK, since my grumpy foot is still complaining, and today would have been a long uneventful road walk. I’m so close to the finish now and so stubborn that there is no way I’m going to take time off for an injury unless I absolutely have to!
From Havelock, I will begin the final section of the walk, the Queen Charlotte Track. It feels strange to all of a sudden be so close to finishing, but at the same time, when I think back to those first days in Bluff and Invercargill, they seem like years ago.
I spent the afternoon trimming down all my food in preparation for the final week and performing some repair work on my pack. Most of my gear is definitely coming out of this a little worse for wear. I remember thinking at the beginning: It’s ok that I splashed out on some good gear, because I’ll have it forever. Not so.