Today was the first time I really connected with other hikers on this trip, and from what I learned on the PCT, that’s what makes a thru-hike what it is. You can’t appreciate the pain and suffering until you laugh about it with someone else who’s just suffered the exact same mental and physical pain as you. I realise it’s only Day 5 and I’m complaining as if I’ve been out here for months with 1000 miles under my belt, but I tell you, that beach was something else, and I wouldn’t wish that kind of pain upon anyone.

After finishing my post this morning I sat up and inspected my blisters and immediately got out the needle. After yellow goo started oozing out I decided to rest up for the morning and see how I felt by the afternoon, and after tucking into a great book – ‘A life in stitches’ by Rachael Herron with my feet up on the couch, I decided if I’m going to spend a day off trail, this place is not a bad one to be in.

One of the hikers I met today was an amazing German woman named Katrin, who after studying biology and getting 3 years into her PHD decided to quit academia and now does energy healing and bee keeping on the South Island of NZ. Her pack is the size of Pac Man’s on the PCT and must weigh about 80 pounds. She’s got a full size camera tripod strapped to the outside and has a CPR mask in her first aid kit. She also carries Hydrogen Peroxide drops (food grade strength) that she gave me to put on my blisters to stop any infection. It literally bubbled on my foot so we’ll see what my blister looks like tomorrow.

Later in the afternoon the gang I’ve been bumping into along the beach arrived. There’s Alex from Germany, Shannon from the States and Bevan from Bay of Islands in NZ. They’re an awesome crew and all have their unique qualities. Shannon has an ultralight pack but bought a packet of carrots, two full onions and three packets of spinach for the next leg. Alex eats like me, noodles and potato chips, and when asked if he’s hiking the whole trail always says ‘I’m trying to’ instead of yes. And Bevan is a happy go lucky Kiwi that seems to just go with the flow. I think only Alex may leave tomorrow and since I’m off early I wonder when I’ll see the others next. That’s the fun part about thru-hiking, you might see them tomorrow, in a week, or in 3 months time! You just never know!

I need to grab some supplies as I head out of town tomorrow for the next 120km stretch. I’ve been told you can’t camp in the forest, and when I asked where you can camp the answer was nowhere. I’m taking this trail as it comes, not planning too far ahead and going with whatever comes up as it does. We’ll see if this tactic serves me well or not!

Goodnight from the Ahipara Holiday Park!

9 thoughts on “Connections”

  1. The commentary, the pain, the blisters, the camaraderie, the rambling video – yes there is a pattern emerging Muk Muk. If these few days are so involving just think about what is to come. We can’t wait.

  2. Ugh, that looks painful and not healthy – hope the oxygen helps!
    Glad you got some rest and downtime to recover both body and mind!
    The four people sound so interesting, and I agree that the people you meet on and around the trail are the best part of the whole trail!
    I just wonder what they expect you to do in the forest – thru-hike 120 km? Hang yourself upside down like a bat from the trees? Would hammocks be allowed? Hm…

    1. Hahaha I love the bat hanging idea! I think there may be another paid camp site in 24kms. There must be a reason they call regular camping ‘free camping’, because you seem to have to pay most of the time.

  3. As i recall, you had the same foot problem a few days into the PCT too. Too funny. Good luck!

    1. I remember walking with my feet fully bandaged, hahaha! Don’t worry, it only took 700 miles for my blisters to heal back then!!

  4. Good post, nice read. Blisters – in my ultra marathon kayak racing days we used to toughen the hands and avoid blisters by rubbing the hands 3-4 times a day with a Metho and vegetable oil mix, 80% Metho and 20% vegetable oil. The Metho toughens the skin and the vegetable stops the drying effect of the Metho. Worked brilliantly, makes you smell a bit though. This is not medically proven BTW, it was a Grandma cure passed down from her farming days.

    1. Hey Graeme thanks for the tip!! That sounds nuts but cool that it works!! I’m going to have to keep a note of that for my next big kayak race and potentially for my feet although I think it might be a little late for them now. They did actually feel a lot better today though!

  5. I’m enjoying seeing you on the solo adventure again. I think you are quickly finding your trail soul again. The blisters, the aches, and pains, are all part of your entry price. Without them I think you’d not feel your we’re really there, or belonged. Feel it, and enjoy!

    1. I love this perspective and I agree with you! Today I started getting settled both into the pain and the joy!

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