I don’t think we are going to make it buddy. The storm is closing in and we are almost out of food. Should we use the radio to call for rescue?…..
Arthur’s Pass is a national park on the South island of New Zealand, about the center of the island mid-way between the West and East coasts. It is a well known hiking mecca and where I got my feet wet in overnight hiking.
It was our first time in New Zealand and we had finished covering the North Island and were waking up from two nights in Christchurch. Nick had planned out a multi day hike in Arthur’s Pass. We hopped on a tour bus with a few other hikers(well, more of a tour van pulling a luggage trailer), and were off for the national park. The hour ride up was beautiful. Full of green sheep, snow capped hills, and fluffy mountains. I may have gotten that wrong as my memory is a bit hazy. But anyway, the drive to the park was fantastic.
The van dropped us off on the main road. We checked our packs, took a few pictures to chronicle our adventure. and at 10.34 exactly set off on our trek. The first part of the trail was not promising. It was actually not a trail but a massive river bed full of rocks and swift running water. No worries. We came here to hike and hike we did, hopping over little streams and twisting our ankles every few steps, until Nick decided he had gotten too warm and took a swim into one of the streams. After taking a break to let him and our map dry we were off again, spending the rest of the day navigating that troublesome river bed.
As evening was starting to set in we caught our first glimpse of what nature had in store for us. Some nice fluffy white clouds were covering the ground and mountains in the distance in front of us. White fluffy clouds. What harm could they do? Without a second thought about it, or really even a first thought, we set up camp and started a fire to warm up and dry off our boots and socks. Though I hadn’t gone swimming I had crossed enough streams for water to soak through my waterproof boots and non-waterproof socks. The drying and warming completed we climbed into our sleeping bags and I immediately fell into one off the best sleeps I have ever had. All my best nights rest have been under the stars. I wonder why that is.