Friday, 3 June 2016

Te Araroa Chapter 8 and 1/2 - The last chapter - Over the hills home

The last chapter was here. We choose this part to be the last in our heads as we were so close to our NZ home and it felt like it's the closing. Two more ranges to cross with a stopover in Wanaka and then it's the end. As I wrote in previous chapter, the feeling that it was close together with autumn nostalgia made us feel almost accomplished but also sad and insecure what was going to be after these 2 months filled with simple purpose of walking.

Tak, a poslední kapitola byla před námi. Ucelili jsme tuhle část jako poslední kapitolu, protože jsme už byli tak blízko našemu novozélandskému domovu a cítili jsme, jak se naše cesta uzavírá. Dvě pohoří a zastávka ve Wanace a je to. Jak jsem už napsala v předchozí kapitole, tenhle fakt spolu s podzimní melancholií v nás vzbudil pocit, že je téměř dokončeno a zároveň pocit nejistoty toho, co bude potom, když za poslední 2 měsíce jsme měli každý den prostý cíl jít dál.

Day 51
First day of our last chapter was actually quite peaceful although there was a proper climb to Martha Saddle. Long warm autumn day in dry Otago got colder as we climbed up and down into a different valley. There was snow, river crossing, rugged stones and silent mountains.
Avon burn and rosehips

after crossing Avon Burn :)

Otago landscape starting to show

Tin hut - not on map but free to use (2015)

To the Martha Saddle

Amost in the saddle, looking back

Saddle! Slippery rocks and frozen puddles.

Troll heads

Down that way to Top Timaru hut

Down along the mountain side

That way we came

Pink matching!

Top Timaru hut. Neat and freaking frosty :)
Day 52

We had a dream last night that we walked through South Island all the way down and we woke up in Richmond Range again. Expect it was worse. This day came to test our endurance and patience (Lenka) when it comes to river crossings, steep sidlings and Uber up brutal climb up to the mountain ridge. And we thought we were already tough! Due to melting Timaru river gave us some serious hard insecure times when crossing (but there's no other way, so you just keep walking/rolling down the river). Then we grunted up to Stodys hut and from there to the ridge and all the way to Breast hill and this day gave us even more - first sights of Lake Hawea and Wanaka. We were almost there. We burned a lot that day, almost felt like I was about to pay the iron price at times (yes I think quoting Game of Thrones is truly appropriate :) The glorious feeling of the victory was very stong that night!

walk the ridge, then straight to the river!

That is our road Gimli.

Best snack ever invented!

We left the Timaru valley and heading up to Stodys hut via Uber Grunt

And some sidling :)

Stodys hut, but we are not staying.

Looking down, the valley is looking very peaceful! :)

Roman in slow motion

That way is Lindis Pass

Can you believe it? Wanaka

And us

Mighty Lake Hawea

Breast Hill

Just a little bit and we are there - Pakituhi hut

sneak peek - our road tomorrow

some river crossings done, aye?
Day 53 + 54

We walked to Wanaka. If I even mentioned some sections are very exposed it was because I haven't done walk down from Pakituhi hut to Lake Hawea. Now I know :)
It was my birthday and I weather behaved accordingly,, I got a free cake in Lake Hawea café, Roman sang me a happy birthday (he was a bit forced by nice ladies :), we walked to Wanaka and had a day off with full bellies :)

Roman singing happy b-day!

cold morning indeed

Hello Mt. Aspiring!

Down this way

happy happy

Lake Hawea and Gladstone road

yep, this way down

Down safe and sound. phew!

Happy birthday to me

on the way from Lake Hawea to Wanaka - Hawea river track

Saying goodbye to Breast hill where we started that morning

Hello Wanaka!

Roma made me a breakfast next day. How lucky am I :D
Day 55

We left Wanaka full and relaxed after a day filled with frankly speaking eating and drinking. We started off on a nice walking/cycling track that goes to Glendhu bay and it's really easy. Sun was up, trees were yellow, everything was familiar. We found some free apples on a tree. We left this track to enter the last ridge on our way to Queenstown - Harris mountains and it's famous Mototapu track. We were quite stoked as we heard a lot about it. Te Araroa really spoiled us and the last section we walked completely alone so we really enjoyed our last days on the trail in quiet mediation. No, that's not entirely true, lot of crazy jokes, farting, singing and a wee bit of cursing definitely happened :) Anyway, this was still first day, so I won't jump ahead :)

Lake Wanaka's famous tree

Lost like a ball in a lake

Into the mountains for the last time...for now

Fern Burn hut

Day 56

So this was supposed to be our last "properly tough day" - tough Otago high country, dry, up and down the mountains few times on the way to Roses hut which was also our last hut on our Te Araroa walk. We enjoyed - the day was a hot Otago one. We were very happy we didn't walk 2 months earlier in the "main season" - it was still hot enough during the day!  Spectacular landscape so different from other places - broken stony mountains covered with dry snow grass, stones of various shapes resembling troll heads and noses :) Oh wait, I mean dwarfs! We are in Middle Earth :) And mysterious castles :)  Lot of landslides exposing the mountains and at places so close to the trail you could go for a little flight if you weren't careful.
Jack saddle climb started right after we set off foot out of the hut and we were climbing up and down hundreds of metres properly on that day and when the sun was slowly setting down we reached Roses hut, our last hut, had a last icy bath in a stream and watched the giant moon.

Some artistic expressions of Mototapu track,Otago landscape, troll heads and noses and Lake Wanaka in distance :)
troll noses? troll heads? Wait! we are in Middle Earth, it must be dwarfs :)
Down... and up

Yawn time!

somewhere over the mountains ...Queenstown is
It would be better without the finger, but let's say it's action photo :)

Highland Creek hut

when I share my chocolate with Roman he's all romantic

Some greenery down in the farm land

sidling what?

NZ Falcon

Expression contest

Mysterious waterfall ledge

And down we go to the Roses hut

Bridge to cross invisible fence

This is supposed to be puzzled expression
HUT LIFE YEAH! Tuna and rice love love love

Mighty moon

Day 57

The day we reached Arrowtown. We thought it would be piece of cake after we climb up to Roses saddle, but it was a day full of fun crawling through the Arrow river, loosing the trail (seriously, yes, after 2 months of walking, experienced trampers lost their trail and went goat trail walking). Didn't find any gold, but experienced an earthquake, day of sadness from leaving last hut behind and confusion from seing people again in large numbers (for us over 3 was a large number, so autumn Arrowtown gave us a little shock :) It was a sad last pitching of a tent and feeling of disorientation and upcoming accomplishment that made me really nervous. 
And the day after we walked to Queenstown.

Roman and his pie love drawing

From the last hut to the last tops

don't follow the goats...we did

Arrow river


On the way to Arrowtown the Earth rumbled!

autumn rowanberries

back to civilization - Arrowtown

Last day  - day 58

home sweet Queenstown

sob sob

...the first feelings after we walked to the Lakefront were full of joy and total happiness overload that we really actually finished our goal. Wow, what a journey! We walked over 1000 km and this chunk of land very visible and significant on maps we covered with our footsteps only. 
One hour later I started to realize it is over and started to question what we are going to do now? The feeling was very anticlimax and I think only people who walked for this long or longer can understand the complex yarn ball of emotions going on at the same time. So we went on - with our normal lives :)

...první pocity po dokončení našeho pochodu, kdy jsme pomalu přicházeli k jezeru, které tak dobře známe, byly plné radosti. Jupí, my jsme to dokázali, fakt jsme těch 1000 km ušli! Na mapě je to už docela velký kousek země a ten jsme přešli jen po svých.
Ale už o chvíli později mně došlo, že je tedy po všem a co teda budeme dělat teď? Ten pocit byl vlastně zklamání a myslím, že jen lidé, kteří šli něco podobně dlouhého nebo delšího dobře chápou to klubko emocí, které v člověku pak je. Tak jsme šli dál  - zpět do našich normálních životů :)

...1 year later / o rok později

Te Araroa or I suppose all long distance tramping gives so much. I have been thinking how to describe the feeling the best way and I think it's not possible to pass them on. Although I like to avoid clichés, it does change the way of life even if you are very nature conscious and have tramped before. The time slows down, life simplifies and clears, you see how much importance is given to things that don't really matter. And it's also fun, enjoyable, makes your craving of beer really a joke when the nearest beer is 72 km away :) I guess it just makes everything better and you as well.
I often think about our walk which was long, but when compared to what some other people around walk it can still be short. It definitely made me want more of walking, longer and longer. I wish I could go back every day or go for a different one. And I'm optimistic, as this walk was once only a blurry dream we walked it to make it happen :)

Te Araroa a předpokládám i všechny ostatní dlouhé pochody dávají tak moc. Hodně jsme přemýšlela, poté, co jsme došli, jak dobře popsat ty pocity, a myslím, že se to nedá kompletně předat. I když se chci vyhnout různým klišé, opravdu to mění život i když je člověk hodně "přírodně zaměřený" a chodil v přírodě předtím. Čas se zpomalí, život se zjednoduší a lze najednou vidět, kolik důležitosti je v životě věnováno věcem, na kterých vlastně nezáleží. Ale je to taky sranda, každý den je jiná zábava a je občas fakt k zasmání (nebo k pláči), že nejbližší pivo je 72 km daleko :) Prostě se zdá, že takováhle cesta má obohatí život ve všech směrech.
Často si na náš pochoďák vzpomenu, a že byl dlouhý, i když v porovnání s některými treky na světě se pořád může jevit jako  těch kratších. Rozhodně způsobil, že chci jít zase někam a pokud možno dál a dál. Sním, že se vrátím na Te Araroa každý den, a sním, že vyrazíme na další cestu někam jinam. A jsem optimista - tenhle pochod byl taky kdysi mlhavě v mojí hlavě a tím, že jsme ho prošli, se stal skutečným :)

1 comment:

  1. Ahoj přátelé, děkuji vám za nádherné postřehy a fotky. Posílám pozdrav ze záchodu v MBtechu ;). Pepa Slavík