We'd planned to stay the night at the Boyle River Outdoor Education Centre but realised somewhere in the middle of the Harper's Pass that we needed some actual money to do this.
They don't take eftpos, credit cards, cheques or promises. Just cold hard cash.
And we had none.
In our normal life this would be a perceived crisis. An opportunity to argue. Or possibly just a really annoying mistake.
In our normal life we might even have to make a 5 minute detour to a money machine.
When you're walking the backcountry, cock-ups like this are incredibly time and energy sapping. They're big events.
But in our Te Araroa life, this quite major hiccup just became a fact.
A pleasant calm has come over us. We just go through our days one thing at a time.
An unplanned trip to Hanmer may as well be a mountain pass. Or a river crossing. Or a mushroom found in a field.
The plan was to wake at six, empty the mice from our sleeping bags and walk down the trail to the Lewis Pass highway where we'd catch a lift into Hanmer, withdraw the money, have a coffee, phone family and friends, then hitch out again to Boyle.
And do you know what? That's exactly what happened...and a little bit more...
After a short bush walk that included an encounter with a group of Kaka, we hit the Lewis Pass road.
We got picked up after about four cars and driven to town by a guy who was going to Christchurch but was happy to detour to Hanmer for us.
While we drank our coffees we were joined at the table by Anna and Ugo, a Sobo from New Caledonia.
Next to show up was Geoff, a section walker we'd met in the Motutapu, with his wife June (sorry if that's wrong). She drops him off and picks him up from trail nodes around the South Island. While he's out walking she worries a bit, and enjoys herself a lot, by visiting her own places of interest.
She is almost the ultimate Trail Nice Guy.
As we left, Gabriel and Gwen showed up. We'd passed them on the track into town earlier in the morning, although Gwen had been asleep in her tent.
I reckon we dragged more than about three hundred bucks into that café that Friday morning.
Not bad for a bunch of cheapskate TeA walkers eh?
Our hitch out was pretty painless too. We chose to walk the ten kilometres to the turnoff to the West Coast, but only got half way before a courier van took us to the corner.
A DoC worker on his way to the Wild Food Festival on the Coast took us the rest of the way.
As he dropped us off at Boyle Village he told us about a "secret" hot pool just 1500 metres up the road, so before dinner we decided to go find it.
We walked almost four kilometres down the road and think we may have smelled some sulphur...but that was it.
No hot pools meant a long walk home.