Today- 68km from Riverton to Stirling Point, Bluff
The plan of attack was to have a lazy day in Riverton at the holiday park, then start the epic 24hours after dinner.
Had lots of fun hanging out with everyone, the holiday park had a sweet communal area with ping pong and pool and comfy couches.
Made up some cheesy quesadillas for my mates and we smashed them, as well as eating any other food we had.
Around 4ish some of the crew headed into town, I followed not to far after and surprise surprise we found ourselves at the pub for a cheeky pint and some snacks before fish and chips for dinner.
After that we moved a km down the road to the fish and chip shop, proceeding to buy burgers as big as our faces and we enjoyed them sitting on the beach as the sun was setting.
Full moon tonight! It was covered by pretty thick cloud. We made a music playlist which all of us contributed to, and started walking.
The crew was , Myriam, Oli, Emeric and Paul all from France, Wieke and Koen from Netherlands, and Courtz the Kiwi.
Thanks to Paul for the sweet gopro shot above.
We had fun guessing whose music was whose as we walked on the beach. Thank goodness we had timed it well with low tide.
We trooped along. Most of us were pretty tired already, but the fact it was cooler and dark woke me up a bit. After 12km, we were meant to have crossed a river but we hadn’t come to it so decided to have a break.
1km later we did come to the river and the tide was definitely rapidly coming in. Wet feet all around, apart from classic Emeric who spent a while taking his shoes off and carrying them across. Not a bad move considering we had about 50km to walk still. Good thing my boots are comfy when wet!
Everyone decided to meet at the end of the beach, where we would have a good nap session. The moon was bright for us even under a thin layer of cloud. Awesome.
We got to the end of the beach and layed out our tents as groundsheets and sleeping bags on top cowboy camp for a few hours.
Fell asleep and woke up a few hours later and we slowly got going again. With less than 10km into Invercargill for breke, we were treated to a stunning sunrise full of pinks and purples as we walked on the road shoulder/ footpath into town.
We met Paul, who had kept going instead of sleeping, and all had breke at the Zookeeper cafe, mmmm pancakes.
Bumped into Ralph, Laine & Iben also having breke. There was going to be a bunch of us finishing today, so cool.
After mucking around in Invercargill we finally left, a bit later than we should’ve, around 11ish after a lot of laughs taking some classic pics.
It was a gravel walkway near the estaury for about 9km, and then stopped to have lunch with everyone just before hitting the highway. Then it was around 20km on the highway, good ol State Highway 1 road shoulder. The shoulder was big enough though.
We passed Wieke and Yerin, and then stopped for a break after a while to rest our feet and some nice people filled our water bottles as there was no water en route.
It was hot on the road, and throw back to North Island road walking, but my feet were feeling pretty good and I was on autopilot.
After a few more km we met Wieke having a break. Both her an Emeric were having sore feet troubles, understandable after over 50km and also on hard surface!!
We powerwalked the last few km to where the rest of the group were waiting at the classic Bluff sign.
We all cheered each other on, some cars drove past and whooped and cheered. Awesome that all the locals are constantly stoked on our achievement.
Some cool group snaps, and then we got cracking with just under 4km to Stirling Point, the official finish.
Passed through town, saw some other hikers that had already finished. Picked up one beer each from the liquor store en route, and headed as a team the last couple of kms around the coast.
And then, we saw it. Stirling point, the end point of the TA. Where we had been walking to for over 4 months.
But first, we ducked into the Oyster Cove restaurant and picked up our medals, an awesome momento of such a journey. To the end!
Ill let the pictures do the talking. Such an amazing finish with so many mates from both North and South. Super epic.
The journey has been incredible and it definitely hasnt hit that it’s over. I’ll do a post trail update, but for now, it’s time to relax and celebrate.
Thanks to everyone who followed my adventure and I highly recommend to just go and do it, whatever it is that you might be dreaming of.