When we got up we were still covered in clouds! Again a mystical scenery and the right start for the so much talked about Deception Valley…

But first of all breakfast. This is what I eat every morning on he trail: muesli with milk powder, protein powder, creatine powder, vitamin pill and magnesium capsule. All this to compensate at least a little bit for the limited nutrition I have during the hike days. And on be long run you need to take care of the muscles that carry you every day.

So we started into the valley in a dry riverbed before we actually hit the deception river.

Very beautiful and with the rising clouds very spectacular. You could see that the clouds were pushed up the valley with an enormous speed.

We started following the track left and right of the river crossing the same several times. You could always decide between boulder hopping and wet feet. I gave up on the bolder hopping after a while.

Nevertheless there were some challenging parts with careful climbing involved – but nothing as scary as we were told. We all loved the valley and it is definitely one of the best sections on the entire TA so far!

Ben was to heavy and wanted to return to the saddle to go down on the other side again. We convinced him to continue, shared some of his stuff amongst each other and off we went again.

What can I say – I loved it! A nice mixture of forest, river, climbing and great views!

Unfortunately I slipped on one of the rocks that I climbed. They are very often as slippery as a soaped floor due to the algae. I fell backwards and my leg got stuck between two rocks so I fortunately fell on my backpack into the river avoiding a serious injury but trying to hold on to the rock I did hurt my shoulder. Old injury anyways… So now I can’t lift my left arm higher than my shoulder anymore. I am seriously getting to old for this… ? But nothing serious, will be ok again in a week.

We came out of the valley and took the bridge over the Otira River back to the road.

While passing the last meters we got caught in a beautiful but loud concert of hundreds of cicadas:

We needed to hitchhike back to Arthur’s Pass to pick up our food boxes and to have a nice evening in town with beers and food! Of course we did not have to wait for long. Pavel, a Czech guy, gave us a ride.

We arrived and got an update on the weather forecast from the DoC (Department of Conservation) and we were told there was a storm with heavy rain to arrive tomorrow night – 200mm of rain tomorrow and 100mm more the next day. This would have meant to be stuck in the next valley since we had to cross a few rivers which would be impossible to ford with this amount of water. So we took the decision to head back out to the trail and get as much distance done as possible. At least another 12km to the next hut preferably around 20km to the end of the valley. But it was already after 6pm.

Of course I couldn’t leave without at least one beer so I hopped into the local pub and downed a beer at the bar before another Czech guy, Marek, gave us a ride back. You Czechs are great @ Pheily!

We were on the trail again shortly after 7pm and crossed and followed the river upstream. Sunset was at 8.37 today so it became more and more dark which made it hard to progress. Especially in the riverbed where you have to watch every step with all the rocks. At least the river crossings were not that bad. At one point of time we had to get out the headlamps because it was just to dark. Well, this is my life now ?

 We gave up at the first hut because it was just to dangerous to continue. We couldn’t find the trail anymore so we arrived at the hut at 10pm. Woke up all the trampers in the hut and went to bed extremely tired after a quick dinner outside. What a long and unexpected day. First the very positive surprise and the outlook of beer and more and than a heavy stretch and night hike. Around 30km with heavy terrain and 14.5h.

Great day! Let’s hope we make it over the rivers and Harper’s Pass before the rain hits us.

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