Days 113-138: Injury days

Date: 10 February – 6 March

Back in February, at the end of my 7 days staying at the Methven Campground, I realised that since my leg wasn’t getting better, I flew back to Auckland on February 10 and spent the first week or so after that staying with family. I still couldn’t walk very much during this week.

Baking was done.

The Coronavirus COVID-19 is suddenly a big thing now here and around the world, and while I was staying with my sister in Whangaparaoa we saw all the campervans that were being used to quarantine people on the cruise ship where Coronavirus was discovered.

Coronavirus campervans departing the peninsula

After that I actually did buy a new car to replace my car that was stolen at Christmas, so for most of the rest of the time I was actually able to go for a few road trips. It’s funny how much quicker it is to drive around the country than walk it! There was a lot of visiting friends done, and a lot of geocaching.

One of the many cows that exist in Morrinsville, like the bulls in Bulls but much more colourful and interesting

I saw a kiwi while I was at the zoo. It would be cool to see one in the wild while walking but I think that’s unlikely! I’ve only heard them at night a few times so far. This one at the zoo got so close I could have reached out and touched it.

A kiwi in the “red room” at the zoo

After a few weeks, once my leg felt healed I did several long walks, at first without my pack, and then with my pack to make sure that my leg didn’t hurt any more. My leg seemed completely healed towards the end of February but due to reasons that aren’t trail related, I didn’t end up making it back to Methven until the 6th of March.

Not entirely sure what’s happening here

Now that Coronavirus has reached New Zealand (only three confirmed cases in Auckland as of right now), I’m glad I’m not working in an Auckland office job and instead I’ll be walking in remote places in the South Island where hopefully the virus won’t reach me. Plus I’m looking forward to walking again. There were times during the last month when I almost decided not to finish the walk and just end it at Methven – I thought that I had already got everything out of the walk that I wanted to. But I do want to finish the walk, I do want to see Bluff and I also want to see a kea.  #goals

I arrived at Christchurch Airport to find it colder and windier than when I left. I hope it doesn’t get too cold over the next month.

I did see a tank outside the airport when I went for a walk.

My weight has gone back up a bit. It’s now 80.7kg:

25 September: 82kg
4 November: 78kg
1 December: 75.5kg
6 January: 79kg
4 March: 80.7kg

It doesn’t look like I’m going to catch up to anyone I know, most people I met have finished now. Rhydian tells me he is going to finish in a week, whereas I’ve still got a month to go. Oh well, hopefully I’ll meet a lot of new and cool people.

This morning I flew Jetstar for the first time in all my recent flying – every other time I’ve flown Air New Zealand. They were on time, and they appeared to be weighing people’s carry on luggage (and they look like they’re really strict about it). That’s good for someone like me that always sticks to the rules. And they have a “maze” for boarding so that when boarding time comes it’s not one big push for the gate, it’s an orderly queue. Jetstar just went up in my books.

However I did make a mistake with my timing. I thought the Methven shuttle left the airport at 12:30pm, so I got a 9:15am flight meaning I got up at 5:45am to catch it. Turns out the Methven shuttle only runs at that time on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Fridays it leaves at 4:30pm… so I had six hours to sit around the airport. I could have used that six hours to sleep in and get a later flight. Oops.

On the way to Methven from Christchurch Airport sharing the shuttle with me was a girl called Anka from Germany who is restarting the trail from the same point as me after skipping this section earlier. She was friendly and chatty, and the best bit is she’s already organised all the shuttles for all the upcoming logistically awkward sections! And so I can just piggyback on all her hard work. What a nice surprise. And I might have some company too. All I had to do was call Wayne at Alps 2 Ocean and say that I want in on the same shuttle.

Once at the campground it was like I never left. I even got the same cabin that I spent an entire 7 days in last month. It felt a lot better being here and being actually able to walk.

Cabin 1, my old friend

Here’s the pizza I got from the village takeaways. I had to wait an hour and a quarter for it, because at first they forgot to make it and then they dropped it on the ground and had to make a new one.

At least it was worth the wait

At 8am tomorrow morning the trail will officially be starting again. FINALLY. The highlight coming up on Tuesday or Wednesday is the Stag Saddle, the highest point on the whole trail. Can’t wait.

15 thoughts on “Days 113-138: Injury days

  • First off, so great to have you and your blog back matt. So glad you’ve given yourself the break you needed to heal. I have no doubt this will be a great last leg of the trail. Some interesting pics you’ve posted already and have to say those look like yummy cookies. My favourite, the smiley face one. Also, what a great pic of the cow in Morrinsville. Nice to know what happened in Christchurch. We were wondering why you were hanging around there so long. Anyway you made it to Methven safe and sound and as you say, it’s just as though you haven’t been away. Cabin 1 was just waiting for your return. So nice to have met Anka and now as it’s Sat morning, you’ll be on the way. So good luck and we wait eagerly to read the next part of the adventure.

  • Very glad you are all healed up and on your way again and we are really looking forward to the next month of blog posts. I doubt you’ll see a kiwi though. I believe the only part of the country where they forage during daylight is on Stewart Island. We saw one on the track ahead of us as we rounded a bend when we walked the Rakiura Track there, which I reckon was a real bonus that day and totally unexpected.

  • Great to see you back on trail Matt, so glad you didn’t give up as the SI leg has by far the most scenic route I believe. Looking forward to your pics. Good luck

  • Yay. Smile on my face this morning when the email came up for your blog again! Really enjoy reading your blogs. Glad your better and back walking!

  • Glad you did not take up the temptation to stay at home. You have to finish the trail now. All the best and good luck. Looking forward to some more reading.

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