Te Araroa

         Guys I have finished the North Island and only have the South Island's portion to go ("go" is a fancy word for "slip down like a sexy broken goat")!

            Congrats to me and my legs, which after 6 days of being horizontal in Wellington right before this photo was snapped, have reverted back to the two overcooked pieces of spaghetti you see stuck to the bottom of the pot. Also a relaxing 6 days in Wellington was just enough time to completely forget to buy bug spray, sunscreen, and new legs.

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Start of South Island

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            Richmond Ranges, I am done with you and your seven days of mountains!  I had so much time to be introspective and like learn things about myself. For instance, I learned that I am in fact that "spent hours on Reddit discussing who Becky with the good hair is" level of gay in that I completely disassociated Katy Perry's new single with the two separate occasions in which I was stung by wasps while listening to said single.

            This disassociation in order to be able to listen to the song forever and not be triggered locked said song down as my favourite new thing since not having to use any bobby pins to help hold back my hair.

           But, two seperate wasp occasions?! Not cool Mother Nature, let me ignore you for a hot minute and listen to Katy Perry, that's all I ask from time to time.

           But learning to disassociate was so fun, it helped me to imagine I was actually in a club, lip syncing for my life, instead of in a heap of sore bones on the floor of a hut, slathering a mixture of soothing ointment and my justifiable tears into my inflamed legs (yes, bones can be sore; again: not cool Mother Nature!).

              Ugh, being introspective is like so important, kind of like destroying my legs, from the perspective of wasps.

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            Oh my, a throwback! Legit this was like day 20 something, when Sheida felt the full force of the worst part of the Te Araroa: broken shoes. I can attest to their awfulness because I'm the one that duct taped them together the previous evening...anyways here is a list of things that have happened to or around or at other people doing this hike, all in which I have witnessed myself or heard through the grapevine/blackberry vine (whichever is more relevant to New Zealand): 

 

- get lost by an amount of 6 KM on your first day, even though the trail is essentially a straight line down a beach

- have your backpack stolen on your first day

- have a possum tear into your tent and start eating your food, as you are sleeping in said tent, on the first night

- break a rib and not know about it for two weeks

- hurt your knees so bad you had to take 8 weeks off after your 5th day

- hurt your knees so bad you have to spend a depressing week and a half in Auckland during Christmas time, alone

- float unwillingly down a flooded river with your worldly possessions in tow

- have your tent destroyed in the wee hours of dawn as a helicopter tries to land on you tent that you've unknowingly pegged into a grass helicopter landing circle (but it just looked like a perfect tent site, come on!!!)

- spend a long time yelling into a forest at what you think is a scared, hurt, and dying human that you may potentially be able to save when in reality, it is just a loud awful goat that sounds slightly humanesque

- roll an ankle

- break an ankle

- lose a toenail (without bothering to find it)

- break both pinky toes within first week

- not realise that the boulder that rolled downstream and hit you as you crossed said stream actually broke your leg 

- spend a romantic Valentine's Day week walking through ranges only to experience rolling your ankle and being airlifted by helicopter off the mountains to a hospital. Then the next day being contacted by your partner who also had to get airlifted off the mountain to a hospital, but happens to be at a hospital hundreds of kilometres away from you. How romantic!

 

              So far all I have done is be stung by those wasps, ingest a finger full of superglue, be pushed off a ridge line because of strong winds, and not be able to extend my thumb to hitchhike due to frigid temperatures, so I think I'll be fine. *just cursed self* *immediately explodes*