Distance today: 27.1km
Distance total: 2938.0km
Time hiked: 7h 42min
Time total: 890h 23min
Unusual late start this morning, which doesn't really matter though as it's going to be a comparably short day.
Reason for my delay: while eating breakfast I get into conversation with Berta, a very likeable girl from Barcelona. We talk about my journey for quite some time. As me she's headed for Queenstown. By bus though, where she will spend her last 5 days before returning to Spain.
By 8 we say goodbye and I continue my walk along Lake Wanaka towards Glendhu Bay on the now undulating cycleway. I share tge track with some joggers and bikers on their morning workout. Many puddles on the gravel track. Looks like it rained fairly heavy last night. The clouds have now mostly gone though.
I ate a lot on my yesterday's "walk-free" afternoon. All these extra kilo that I have to carry, make walking a little harder. These usually easy ups and downs along the lake seem like big hills.
The track flattens and I pass through never ending Glendhu Bay Campsite, where I have my last Ice Cream until Arrowtown. I know I'm terrible...
The Motatapa Alpine Track initially leads through farmland and a lovely beech forest into tussock. Even though steep, the track is mostly well benched all the way to big Fern Burn Hut.
A light shower just before arriving there is the sign for me to call it a day - a really hard going day. Amy, who apparently started in Wanaka just a few minutes after me, arrives while I settle in.
More and more people enter the hut until all 12 bunks are occupied. They all are day hikers and will return to the carpark tomorrow. Some of them staying in a hut for the first time.
It's a cheerful bunch and we spend the remaining afternoon exchanging travel stories. I get a bit jealous when they start cooking. Veggies, fresh fruits, beer, real plates... But just a bit. I really got used to my simple pasta and quinoa meals.