Distance today: 39.2km
Distance total: 2697.1km
Time hiked: 12h 40min
Time total: 820h 43min
Once again, the weather forecast is way off and there is not a single rain drop... The whole day...
I don't mind and follow Camp Stream for a few kilometer before the track steeply climbs away to a plateau. Superb views of Lake Tekapo and the easy track make the 13-kilometer long Richmond Trail one of the most enjoyable hikes so far.
The track eventually leads down to a gravel road, which follows the lake all the way to Tekapo. I enjoy a long lunch break at one of the many inviting shingle banks along the lake before continuing to Lake Tekapo, a crowded tourist village.
While grabbing some food in a 4-Square, I meet another NOBO (we stick out like a sore thumb). Don't take me long to recognize his Swiss accent. Nice to meet a fellow Swiss hiking the trail as well. But it's obviously not his first long distance hike, as hiked more than 5000 kilometer last year before even starting TA a month ago.
With our backpacks we are blocking one of the stores narrow aisles and thus keep our chat short. Time is flying and it's already 7:30. I continue west to the holiday park and am quite lucky to find an empty spot in the campground's overflow area. I squeeze my tent between two tents. My neighbors are super friendly and invite me to join their BBQ. Doesn't take me long to accept ;)
The two Kiwis and the British guy seem to be favourably impressed by the hike. We have a great time and keep on talking, eating and drinking until the stars come out. That's when they try to explain me, where to find the Southern Cross. Somehow have the impression, they have no clue where it is ;)
After two surprisingly tasty, but probably super unhealthy S'Mores for dessert, I call it a day. It's close to midnight and I'm just not used to stay up that late anymore.