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Published: December 18th 2014
And somehow I've reached Thursday and I'm driving back over Takaka Hill without a detailed plan. The one realisation I've come to though is that, despite landing on South Island nine days ago and, in theory, having at least two rest days scheduled in those nine, yesterday was the seventh day in a row in which I've finished the day with my legs singing a mournful tune in complaint at what I've been asking them to do for me. Add in the complaints from the shoulder muscles, the lower back, and the hip and the chorus is getting louder.
Yet, still, even with this realisation in mind, I catch my mind looking at the weather forecast (heavy rain) and spotting a gap this afternoon during which we could make it up to, or across to, or up to and down from...you get the picture. Having corrected my thoughts and agreed with myself that we're actually going to rest today, I still find myself leaving the running kit neatly stacked to one side of the boot...just in case.
Luckily, the weather takes over and the drive over Takaka Hill is hairy with little visibility at all at the top. A couple of minor washouts and accidents are being attended to as I make my way over. On the other side, the rain clears long enough to allow a short planning stint in Motueka before beginning the drive to the Sounds. The drive involves avoiding Nelson as much as possible and then up and down and up again and down again. Each up involves driving back into thick cloud so it's slow progress and doesn't really offer much opportunity for a scamper off either side of the trail. I eventually take a detour and pause for a brief snack (let's call it lunch) at the wonderfully moody Okiwi Bay before making my way across to the relative metropolis of Picton.
The sun comes out for an hour and overheats everything before allowing the cloud to take over again. Humid and sticky now as I sit by the bay typing out all this drivvle and wondering if any of it makes any sense to anyone other than me (the answer doesn't matter). Somehow - almost by accident - I've managed a rest day (apart from the driving).
Tomorrow I head for Mahau Bay and two nights in a wee cabin disconnected from the world other than by water and sand and the like, none of which has been turned into silicon that can be used to communicate such ramblings so consider yourselves blessed for a few more days. In fact, for a night after that, I aim to be out on the Nydia track where I shall be equally unconnected (currently, I'm the only person booked in to the 40-bunk DOC lodge on the track).
So the next update might be from somewhere in the Motueka area as I head back across in order to explore the Leslie-Karamea trail and the Mt Arthur range.
Do fare well until then reader.
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