Old Relics on the Old Ghost Road – Part Three

“On a Mish” #276 Old Relics on the Old Ghost Road (Special Guest Post) – Part Three. Lyell Range. 4.5.2021. Part three of three of my parents‘ adventure on the Old Ghost Road… Day five was home time, but only after a final 18km walk. This one was mainly above the river, so full of amazing views of brilliant clear water, enormous granite rocks and beautiful forest. It was also yet another opportunity to marvel at the amount of work and vision that has gone into creating this track. We started to see signs of civilisation at around the 82km mark, so those last three kms seemed endless…

There was a large proper coffee and a meal that didn’t come out of a packet at the end of it, and I was more than ready! The welcoming staff at the Rough n Tumble Inn had clearly seen our like before, and were happy to bring our lunch over to where we had all collapsed on the couches, thereby avoiding the long walk to the tables about ten steps away.. And then, it was over and time to head back to clean sheets, hot showers and all the comforts and distractions of civilisation. But it is reassuring to know that, several weeks later, the sense of achievement and renewed appreciation of our beautiful back country still remains.

High Above the Mokihinui River

My favourite things about the Old Ghost Trail· The rare opportunity to enjoy extended periods of absolute silence, broken only by the occasional birdsong· The total detox which comes with no phones, internet, or soap! · Being rewarded for the effort of dragging yourself out of a warm sleeping bag for a toilet visit, by the most stunning night sky ever· Spending lunchtime with a friendly little robin (tataruwai) or tomtit (ngirungiru)· The exhilaration of knowing you have stepped out of your comfort zone and achieved something few of your peers have· How good the first real coffee tastes when you haven’t had one for five days· Ditto the feel of clean sheets and a pillow· The joy and privilege of getting to know your travelling companions better – and getting on so well that you all spend your first night out talking about where to go on the next walk…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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