Today’s distance: 28.12 km

Total: 962.22 km

Today began with a misty morning through Mount George Conservation Park, with work friend Phil McNamara and his daughter Darcy.

My mind was focussed on hearing about Darcy’s plans to walk the Te Araroa. That’s one that’ll take her about 6 months covering the entire length of New Zealand from North to South with incredibly steep elevations and descents. Darcy, I can’t wait until you begin this walk, and know I’ll be following you on your adventure.

Reaching Bridgewater, we parted ways and I had the pleasure of doing my laundry at the Laundromat. For me, I am so grateful and appreciative to be able to do my laundry. I make the most of it by indulging in some comedy and eating lollies.

With fresh threads, I pushed on walking in beautiful flowering scrub along the roadside to Mylor. The track through farmland swamps included very considerate boardwalks to keep walkers from being stuck in the mud.

Walking through Jupiter Creek was interesting to see the old mine shafts of Beatrice mine. A couple seemed to think there was some undiscovered gold here as they walked around with their metal detectors.

The final piece of the puzzle was walking through Kuitpo forest. By this time I was physically, mentally and emotionally spent. I think the last few days of walking big distances had caught up with me. I felt like I had aged 50 years again. As I went up and down the final hills of the day I distracted my mind by thinking about some of my favourite memories; putting it in a dream state oblivious to the enormous effort it took to reach the campsite.

The first thing I did when I reached Rocky Creek Hut was laid down and snapped a photo of myself to capture the moment.

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