The Harper River track was lovely. It was crisp and overcast, without a chance of rain... what I consider to be perfect hiking weather. You can experience four seasons in one day down here in NZ, and so I'm always delighted when I stay dry. Mostly dry, that is, as I probably forded the river a dozen times. I hiked this section alone. I blame the beautiful riverbed flowers for my slow speed... distracted by their good looks. If you've spent a few hours with me, chances are that you've heard about at least one of my three phobias:
- White creamy sauces such as sour cream, mayonnaise, yogurt and whipped cream, (I'll make an exception for Alfredo sauce, because life is too short not to have a few exceptions)
- Putting my hand inside a bag of chips
- The color pink
Well, I tell ya, this beautiful pink flower helped me put my color judgements away. Nature pink is A-OK. I am, however, still grumpy with all the outdoor companies who think woman's gear and clothing should be saturated in this god awful hue... Come on, red is so much better.
But I digress... Onward into Methven. A gentleman gave me a ride from the power station at Lake Coleridge. What an interesting town. My new friend Johnny took me on a pub crawl ending with midnight karaoke and a bad headache. He also gave me a 21 year old hat that his horse drank water from and made me promise to never wash it. This is the most valuable item I'm carrying now and I'll wear it with pride all the way to Bluff... Thank You!
My morning breakfast was like a dream. Cafe Primo, you stole my heart and tickled my toes. I think it's the cutest cafe I've been to EVER. Antiques and odd collections decorate the ins and outs of this humble shop and the staff was as friendly as can be. I spent a few hours writing notes on napkins, and after my fifth coffee, I started to get the feeling back in my bones. (Notes on Napikins... Another good band name, remember this for later, Ashley).
That night, well, let's just say inebriated men at bachelor parties should still have some form of decency... Thankfully, my hiking pal Petr showed up in town and helped me make an early exit.
I decided to skip a small section after Methven... No need for me to justify it, it was something I just felt like I had to do. We have to embrace our decisions. It's hard when I hear this word "cheat" from other hikers and I feel like I'm doing something wrong, but I know I still have the encouragement and will try with all my might to stay strong.