Finally we have hit the road. No matter how pre-prepared you are thugs always take longer than expected. However, practice does make perfect. It took me (meg) 20 minutes to pack my pack. Kelsey, on the other hand took about 3 hours. The process was a matter of going through all her stuff and shaking her down. I spent the evening prizing any unnecessary (and heavy) items out of her tight grasp. A few glasses of red later she had it all done and we crawled into bed. I understand Kelsey’s predicament as you’ll all now I carried way too many clothes on the PCT in fear of being cold and uncomfortable. There is, however little else more uncomfortable than the relentlessness of a heavy pack. Fingers crossed we have enough warmies and toes crossed the weather remains mild.
This morning consisted of grabbing a few last essentials such as socks and warm gloves, gas and an emergency blanket. We also shopped at Pak n Save, NZ’s version of CostCo minus the membership stuff. There’s lots of options for all the beige coloured foods that make up a hikers pantry. They do stock dehydrated peas though, and have a decent bulk section for trail mix!
We collected our relocation vehicle. She’s a beast, and super lux. We have a fridge, gas cooker, hot shower, tv and DVD player, and lots of other modcons all for $5 per day and a ferry ferry ticket between the islands. Best cheap way to travel if you’re wanting to move relatively quickly.
All this took time though and we didn’t get out of Auckland until the late afternoon. Luckily the national parks services in NZ are pretty flexible. It only took a call and we were easily able to rebook our campsites for the Tongariro Circuit. We will be doing it 2 days now instead of 3, which means 23 km days. It’s doable and a nice way to break Kelsey into hiker lyf :).
New Zealand is a lush country. There is something intriguing about the north islands greenness, and the almost tropical looking plants which I now are subject to harsh winters.
we have spent the evening in our beast, cooking salmon, eating our last vegetables, rationing food for the next few days and sorting our packs out. It’s pretty chilly outside and also raining on and off. Whakapapa Village is tiny. There’s a huge hotel, just to juxtaposition the smallness of the village and inside waiters busily waited many full tables.
The bed in the van is cosy so hopefully we get a quiet sleep without interruption or someone telling us to move along and can set off early tomorrow morning for our climb over the mountain.