We tried to leave early but it took us again until 8 to be on the road. Jason left earlier because his foot was hurting again and he was sure that we were going to catch up.

Clouds were hanging low when we started to go up and down a few hills before we hit the creek in front of the final ascent. It started raining just enough to get wet and feel uncomfortable. But hikers will no – it is a decision between pest and cholera. Either you get wet and cold or you put your rain jacket on and die because of overheating…
I went for overheating and opened up all zippers. We climbed the ridge entering the clouds now also with a chilli wind. Nevertheless, 10 minutes before I reached the top I had to take off the jacket again because I could not longer stand it. Just to put it on again on the saddle because the wind was cold and I was not moving anymore. Supposingly there is a great view over Lake Wanaka – but not for us today…
After that the trail followed down the valley to the lake. The trail was very good but that it was just going downhill is a lie!

Again uncountable times up and down in slopes. We stopped at the Fern Bern Hut for Lunch and continued downwards. Ben and I always go our own speed with me being a little bit faster (I also have longer legs) which is nice since you get into your “flow” but we take breaks together and wait for each other to not lose each other on the track. And we are having a ok of fun just messing around and making jokes about whatever happens or comes to our minds. Ben is a great guy and a super hiking buddy! Jawohl ?

When Ben and I were talking about the possibility to reach Fern Bern Hut yesterday he asked me if I was on a race. I asked him why he was thinking this and he replied that he has the feeling I always want to go further and faster somehow. Why not slowly and enjoying nice days he said. This kept me busy today. I guess he was right. I have the feeling I do have a competitive gen or at least a competitive base setup. If the trail notes say the stretch takes three hours I for sure want to be done with it in 2.40h. I don’t find it a bad thing in general I figured. But for the TA I will try to keep an eye on the balance – it is definitely not a race.

I also asked myself why I am actually doing this. I don’t really have an answer so far but even though I had wet feet today, my socks were disgustingly smelly, I had sweat and sunscreen on me from four days already and the track was slippery – I am really enjoying it! I enjoy waking up having a small breakfast and then making my way through nature with whatever it has to offer at that day. Funny – feels like being in my comfort zone or linking it to the penguin story being in the right and perfect environment.

Well, we arrived at the official camp ground in Glendhu Bay where Jason and the American couple were waiting for Ben and me. I got some french fries and ice cream which made my day – they just didn’t have any beer which I had craved for the entire stretch already. And also Achim left us a note that he was fine and made his way to Wanaka already. That was quiet a relief!

We continued further on the shore since on of the hikers gave us the hint to free camp between the camp ground and Wanaka directly at the lake.

I have to say I love my new trail runners.

Feels so awesome to get out of the heavy boots once you are in easy terrain! The camp spot was not perfect but we all found a more or less flat spot and pitched the tent just before it started raining again. Second night in my new tent!

We also went for a swim in the lake which was a great pleasure even though it was quiet cold. But getting rid of all of the sweat and mud from the last days and a cool down after the hot day today just felt great. Also the smell is gone ?

Just a little bit more of Harpe Kerkeling’s audible book now and then to sleep.To Wanaka it’s only 8km more – will be a great day to get food for the next stretch and to chill out on the camp ground. 465km so far (15.5%)!

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