Breast hill/East Ahuriri (Day 3)

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His stomach growled loudly. It was not pleased. He wanted to throw up, get it over with, yet the only thing he could do was to wait and listen to his growling stomach.

Why did this have to happen right now, he thought. Even concentrating on whining was hard. His body was tired to the bones and all he wanted to do was to go asleep. So far he had only gotten something like a trans, where he wasn’t awake and his brain was switching between thoughts like a bumblebee between flowers.

Of course, all this was all his own fault. There were no one and nothing he could blame.

The chance of his state being caused by food poisoning was minute to say the least, and he had experienced this kind of unwell feeling before. Always because of him eating to much fatty foods when his body had exerted itself. Never before had he thrown up because of it though.

A sudden surge through his body made him run out through the hut door. The night sky was beautiful, but he could not appreciate the beauty while hulking over the tussock grass. The body felt like it would throw up the dinner any moment now.

Nothing came up though, and he soon went inside again. Sitting down, he placed a bucket in front of himself and used the sleeping bag as a blanket to get warm again, it had been very cold outside.

This was my third day (second night) of walking from lake Hawea to lake Ohau. The trail starts over Breast hill (1578m), follows the Timaru river up to Mt Martha saddle (1700) and then drops down to Ahuriri river. After crossing the river, it follows the east branch of the Ahuriri river through another mountain pass to lake Ohau.

I did throw up just after readying my bucket, and had a fantastic sleep afterwards. Surprisingly, my body felt perfectly fine in the morning. I had plenty of energy when walking over the Mt Martha saddle, even though I was missing a dinner from the night before.

Except for climbing up to the saddle, the trail through to Ahuriri is relatively easy. The trail passes over high country stations with lots of sheep, and most walking is done on the 4WD access tracks.

The Ahuriri valley consist mostly of a very large and open landscape closed in by 2000m high mountains. The river, which is one of the larger ones in New Zealand, cuts through the flatter hills in the middle of the valley. I had to negotiate some very big cliffs and riverbanks until I finally reached the actual water.

Using my experience gained from the previous day, I found a place with weak current to ford and started shuffling across holding an old fence post for extra stability. As it turned out, the Ahuriri was far deeper than I expected. At one point, when I had water up over my waist, I considered turning back, but the currents where very mild and I never felt in danger of toppling over.

Now, how do you go about drying out stuff in a tent while it’s raining?

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