Rose and Peter's story about their dodgy ExPed blow-up mattresses now seems a little...premonitionistical. (That is a word...now.)
My mattress sprung a leak last night. I woke to find my hip being ground down by a boulder.
Whiona being a woman with two...yes two...physics related degrees, calculated that because she's lighter than me the slow leak would be slower if she slept on it.
What a woman. She hasn't shaved her shins for six weeks...but get her calculating stuff and you're away laughing.
Anyway dawn broke on another insanely perfect day. She'd only had to blow the mattress up seven times, whereas she'd calculated that if I had been sleeping on it I would have had to blow it up nine times. Thus saving...
The lake was as smooth as glass...perfect for immersing a large yellow inflatable mattress with a known design fault into.
It was one of those operations that should have ended in an argument. Something from a French farce.
The lake was warm and we found the hole within a couple of minutes. Rose and Peter were spot on with their warning. A baffle had failed...it wasn't a puncture.
I fixed the repair then rowed on the reinflated bed across the lake to Tekapo where I got an instant refund from the outdoors shop. The nice guy behind the counter didnt even ask for my old receipt.
We were soon ready to head up the hill.
Yawn. It was going to be hot again. Ron had texted me the day before. He was walking on the track we were about to move along.
"It's a cake walk", he informed us.
It was. Ron neglected to tell us one thing though. The cake was still in the oven.
It was scorching.
We walked. We rested. We drank water. We walked. We rested. We drunk water. We walked.
Camp Stream Hut is an old and small alpine club hut. It sleeps four in its tiny confines.
We would be sharing with two Sobos that night.
Malcom was a Kiwi Sobo of no fixed abode. But I'll say he's from the Tararuas.
He's a trapper and hunter who decided to do TeA around Christmas time when he met a couple of TeAers in the mountains near Levin. They inspired him.
We were the first Kiwis he'd met since starting out...except for one possible Kiwi who'd confused him by speaking Dutch all the time.
Sobos have quite an insular journey down the country. There aren't many Nobos on the trail so Sobos spend much of their time amongst themselves...if they travel at the same speed. They don't intersect with other travellers nearly as much as we do.
Malcolm was starting to find this tricky as the group he was moving with were young...and less broken than him. Age was starting to catch up with him. We understood where he was coming from.
He was also starting to find the lack of trees in the central South Island a little disturbing. We let him know there wouldn't be another decent stand of native bush until after Queenstown.
It's bleak if you're used to the lush beech forests of the Ruahines and Tararuas.
Just before bed, in walked Fabian. One of the walkers who'd inspired Malcolm to take up this trip a few hundred kilometres ago.
It had been a quite while since they'd caught up with each other.
They chatted like old friends.