Day 64. Hitching in Style. January 5, 2016.
Bay of Many Coves DOC Campsite km 1732.5 to the highway by Smith Farm Holiday Park past Anikiwa km 1771
I awoke to a beautiful sunrise and
started walking at 5:45am.
Nathan and Owen were still at Black Rock Campsite. We made hot coffee. My cannister. Nathan’s stove. My stove stopped working last night. Black Rock is a much bigger and nicer campsite. It has a big cooking shelter with a view of Picton. It also has a view of the bay on the other side so you can see both sunset and sunrise. But is was crowded. My spot worked great for me.
I walked the section I biked last time and remembered the hill I had to push my bike up. It is steep for a bike. There were lots of people on the track. No big surprise there.
The next section of the TA is thru the Richmond Range. 130 km of steep mountains, exposed ridges, changeable weather and great views. Lots of previous hikers say it was the highlight of the South Ialand. For safety and enjoyment you need/want good weather. The weather forecast is good for a couple days then bad. What to do?
The plan: hitch to Nelson, then to Abel Tasman Great Walk. Spend a couple days there. Hitch back and hike the next 30 km road walk in the rain. Enter the Richmond Range with a good forecast. So that is the plan.
Nathan, Owen and I walked out to the highway to hitch. A large camper van passed us, turned around and picked us up. Jessica, Pete, 3 yr old Ishmael and the cute 6 month old. The parents asked Ishmael if they should pick us up. He said yes. Thanks Ishmael. They also stopped to pick up another hiker, Leo, from Germany. We had a fun ride all the way to Nelson. And this family lives in Nevada City, California….. not far from where I live.
We had a hard time finding lodging in Nelson. We are at a backpackers that had beds, the Royal Hotel. The owners are super nice and it’s clean. 3 bunks (6 beds) are crammed in this room. But it’s just the 3 of us so it works.