Our tent seems to be a lot more wet than usual on the South Island. I guess the condensation is a lot worse as it hasn’t rained yet. Unfortunately we don’t have time to dry it out in the morning so we get to carry the extra water weight all day. We spent a few hours in the morning finishing the Queen Charlotte Track. It wasn’t quite as spectacular as yesterday (only marginally), but perhaps we were just used to the views by now.
We got off the QCT around 11:30 with high hopes of a late morning coffee or ice cream. Unfortunately the spot in Anakiwa (the town we hit immediately after) didn’t open until 1:30pm.
Unwilling to wait around another 2 hours we set out on the road to Havelock. This track was supposed to be on something called the Link Pathway but really it just meant a lot of it was following on or next to road. The views started out nice but it was getting pretty hot and the road got boring very quickly.
We made it to a gas station about halfway along the road and wandered in to find glorious pies and ice cream (specifically a Cornetto). We found a bench in the shade, Heather got chips and a coke, and we settled in for an impromptu lunch. The pie wasn’t the best but a pie is a pie.
We continued along the road for another few kms and finally hit the link path again. This took us back off the road and into some shade. We meandered along this for a way occasionally dropping back to the road and eventually climbed up a small track somewhat similar to the escarpment (way less high and scary though). This track had more of the great views we’re used to by now.
We rounded a corner at the top of this track and saw Havelock, our destination for the night. From here the track descended down to the road, crossed over a bridge, and then we were in town.
We’re camping at a holiday park tonight and met a few other TA hikers here, I have a feeling we’ll meet a lot more people on the South Island than we did on the North. We did a quick resupply for the next section, it’s a 9 day resupply so a collosal amount of food, our packs will be super heavy tomorrow. We had time to stop for a quick afternoon coffee as well. Given that Havelock is the green lipped muscle capital of the world we obviously went to the Mussel Pot for dinner. It was really delicious and probably a top meal in New Zealand so far, definitely worth the walk. We had a mixed platter of mussels that included steamed, fried, smoked, cheese and bacon, baked, and marinated.