My bunk hell finally ended with a fart from one of the hunters. Anna was up and getting ready for her run.
Rise and shine!
The guys had too much venison stew for breakfast and it would have been rude not to help them out with it. So we did.
I had mine in a white bread sandwich slathered in margarine. Grunter, who'd made it, is quite a gifted cook. Chunks of beetroot and sundried tomatoes mingled with the rich meat and gravy to form a breakfast that was as good as my sleep had been horrendous.
Then they started loading us up with the food and beer they couldn't be bothered carrying back to the Pelarises.
There was no way any of us was going to carry the beer out...and we weren't going to start the day drunk even though I was tempted...so the food safe got the tinnies of Monteith's Crusaders Limited Edition Beer.
It was probably awesome...but what's happened to Monteith's? Are they trying to be the next DB? Oh...that's right...Monteith's IS the next DB.
We scored a bag of sausages, a loaf of fresh white bread, margarine, six eggs...and wait for it...coleslaw. Real live coleslaw.
It was going to be a long day before tea time, but it was going to be worth the wait. We'd been planning instant noodles.
The lads and us all stood around and watched Anna run off into the distance.
"She's the happiest person I've ever met," said Braden wistfully.
She'd given him her card. I'm picking he'll check out her website.
We said our goodbyes and followed Anna up the road. We reckon we may meet again somewhere around Arthur's Pass.
She'll come running out of the rain as we pitch our tent on the dry side of the Alps. It'll be another TeA coincidence.
It being another Slowbo day we didn't mind our slightly heavier sausage laden packs.
We wandered over a couple of stunning mountain passes as the clouds cleared. Once you've seen one amazing mountain pass you'd think you'd have seen them all. But no. They all seem to be different.
On this one...
Families of Thar rattled on the scree slopes opposite us. We watched and wondered what their lives and deaths must be like.
Small mountain cicadas buzzed quietly like electrical faults as we walked past.
Kamikaze grasshoppers leaped haphazardly from under our boots.
Thousands of young Nursery Web Spiders sat in their dew covered homes as we made our way above them to Crooked Spur.
We told the two young American Sobos from Boise, Idaho, we met just before Crooked Spur about the beer.
It would've been good spending a night with them. One of them had a guitar...and no...he hadn't met Ron.
We were at the hut a few minutes later and were greeted by the three Sobos the Boise boys had told us about.
Lauren and Alan were an Irish couple. Like us they'd made the "mistake" of doing a daily blog. It seems like a logical thing to do, but is a huge commitment.
"Our relatives and friends back home keep asking us when the next day's will be up...we've told them it's a bit difficult. ...we are trying to fit it in while we walk 3000 kilometres after all."
They write on alternative days. I ask them whether people can tell their styles apart.
Often they can't.
We'll be checking out their blog...it'll be good to get an Irish view or two of the trail. (Trek3000.wordpress.com)
On the trail you get used to Europeans speaking impeccable English with American or English accents. Lizzie from Switzerland, spoke hers with a New Zealand one.
It was a strange effect. It seemed like the first time I'd heard "our" accent as an accent.
She'd learnt English here nine years ago and our way of talking had stuck.
As they left I caught them taking a turn up the wrong valley.
"Don't you go writing about this in your blog now", one of the Irish couple yelled out.
I can't remember which one it was...their style was so similar.
It was our last day before resupplying at Mesopotamia Station and we had quite a bit of food to deal with...including enough sausages, eggs and bread for four.
We ate the last of our bhuja, chocolate and lollies and hoped Andrew and Peter were on their way. Anna had said they planned to arrive at Crooked Spur that night...we needed their help.
As we digested our entrées we heard them coming down the hill.
They were literally whooping and hollering.
"This has been the best day yet!" shouted Peter as he came around to the front door.
We were happy to top it off with crispy, hot sausage and coleslaw rolls...as long as they brought the chilli sauce.
Which they always do.