Remaining Distance: 615.2km
Distance Covered: 2684.8km
Total Traverse Hiking Days: 120
When I picked up the phone yesterday all I heard was heavy panting and footsteps. It was Ken calling while hiking along a flat dry track towards Twizel.
Ken and I dropped off a supply box in Twizel back in September last year. The only suitable place we could find for the box was a locker inside a youth hostel. The locker had a key which we ended up burying beneath a tree along the main road that runs into this small cosy town. Fortunately, six months later, the key was still in its hiding place. Ken then hiked the remaining distance to Twizel and collected his supplies.
Once Ken had arrived in town we were then faced with trying to find him some accommodation. We knew this would be almost impossible as New Zealand’s largest rowing regatta is always held in Twizel at this time of year and the town’s population explodes overnight. Ken really just needed access to recharging all his batteries and to prepare his pack for the mountains which lay ahead. So, while in Sydney, I found myself hovering over Ken’s location using Google Maps. What would we do without good ol’ Google? It takes the hard work out of everything and I just love having a visual of where Kenyon is. It feels just like I’m peering down on New Zealand from inside a satellite in space orbiting earth. Having just visited Twizel I knew the layout well enough and so I really was in a position to help Ken find a place to stay. I called three or four places and finally I found a place for Ken but it was one days walk south (the direction of his traverse). Meanwhile back in the land of the long to do list (NZ), a local woman, who heard that Ken was looking around for a place to stay, offered Ken to stay the night at her home. What could this be about I wondered? For fifty bucks he had the run of her home which was a good deal considering the size of the crowd in town – so he took her up on her kind offer.
Ken departed Twizel early this morning. As he hiked past Lake Ruataniwha he could see the rowing regatta in action.
The prominent orange line on the second map below is Ken’s proposed route. Kilometre markers have been added to his route to help calculate distances when planning ahead. So for today you can see most of where his route took him. He’s now on Map-S87 on the banks of Lake Ohau.
The above photo was taken on 28th February as Ken hiked towards St Arnaud. I’d really like to be posting more recent photos that relate to the area Ken is currently hiking but with Ken moving at such a pace, all I can use is what I have here in Sydney. He no longer has the luxury of backing up his photos and sending them home for the blog.