quite a surreal day already.
You know I mentioned that large group of people at the campsite. Well they continued talking loudly till late. I was in a semi-unconcious state but woke when a fight broke out and lot of shouting. I was too weak to get up up and it died down after a few minutes.
Turns out it the really nice biker guy we’d met and was concerned for me being sick had gone over to politely ask them to keep the noise down as it was getting late he had got beaten up for his troubles! He was really upset when I talked to him this morning and had a cut on his forehead, a black eye and swollen lip. He was going to curtail his trip round NZ as a result and was questioning whether he would now come back and live here (he’d been in Aussie for years but had just bought a house in Taramanui). Really sad and I tried to console him by saying he’d done nothing wrong and was brave to do what he did, and had every right to. Cops had apparently come in later in the night and taken two of the group in for questioning, hope they get suitable punishment.
I felt a lot better this morning and can no longer shit through the eye of a needle, or it would have to be a pretty big needle at least. Spoke to Marie and Alice on phone and said was feeling better. Had a chat with Karla and it is sadly going to be the day we split up after 22 days of sharing this awesome journey together.
We made a joint breakfast of scrambled eggs (Karla) and Bacon (me) and just as I was washing up Karla shouted to come quick. Lo and behold there was the ugliest pig in the world gorging itself on my packs of food I’d left by my rucksack and it had a plastic bag of something trailing from its mouth as Karla tried to beat it off with my trekking poles. Have still to assess the losses and damage, there could be more than I initially think when i see all the slobber on some of the bags!
Gail (Karlas friend) arrived with Karla’s new boots and offered to take me into town so I quickly packed and came in. We said our painful goodbyes and best wishes outside an unglamorous vacant shop window and emotionally drained I came to library. 5 minutes later Karla rang me and invited me for a coffee at the cafe down the road so went and we had a nice chat with Gail and went through the goodbyes all over again.
I’ll be posting Karla’s “you know you’ve been walking a long time” salient comments as a future post.
Karla, it has been great to have met you and shared this journey with you for such a long time. I was really lucky to have met you on the “3rd day” and I can still clearly picture our first encounter around the Bluff campsite tap with those lovely Maori ladies acting as matchmakers. I don’t think I’d have got as far or got as much out of the experience without you. We will meet again either on the trail or over a bottle of Speights Cider with James down the line. Thank you and good luck (especially with those new boots!). stay strong cos you are one tough cookie.