The night was horrible. I couldn’t sleep at all. My body was going insane and I think it was due to the heavy adrenaline rush during my fall.

I still tried to get up at six o’clock but everything was a little bit more complicated with only one functional arm and one that just hurt. I couldn’t lift my arm more than 25 degree. Putting pressure on it was impossible anyways. Fortunately the wasp stings didn’t hurt at all anymore and no swellings. So I finally left at 8.30h taking a wrong turn right at the beginning which cost me another 30 minutes. I was not fully “there”. I was exhausted from yesterday, probably still a little bit shocked from yesterday and everything felt far away, unreal and unclear. I followed the river upstream only using my right arm and pole to really push myself up. After a while I could at least use the left arm and pole to give me some additional balance but no support and very unreliable. All of this made me very slow. I tried it with music but this didn’t really help to pump me up. And in all this mixture of feelings, perception and pain I climbed the first saddle and had the following view:

It took me a while to realise that this was really the ocean. I was so close already! Maybe 15km max to the coastline and the shore of the South Island. I made it from one end to the other! I had a very emotional moment and had to sit down… This is insane! I started out in Bluff and progress seemed to be so slow in the beginning and now – the coast was already in sight! 45 days of walking and around 1100km later – it’s difficult to put this in words.

It is a real bitch to put on your backpack with only one functional arm and getting the other one into the harness is also not easy. Met two very nice SOBO couples (Alex & Alex // Anna & Jeremy) and chatted for quite a while. This is also one of the fascinating parts of this hike. You bump into people you have never met before and you would have most probably not talked to on the street and it is always nice to chat and exchange. And sometimes there is this little bit more and you would just like to head straight to the bar for a few drinks because you know this would be a great evening. This was one of these encounters today again. Too bad we will probably not see each other ever again.

I made it to the first hut and was completely exhausted. Time estimation was 4-5h and it took me 5.5h including the break and chats. The next section was demanding and tiring. Following a creek with constant up and down and very narrow and slippery sections with steep drops. One little mistake and it could have been over. Good that I was in perfect shape today…

After three hours I arrived the hut and decided to call it a day. The project catch the NOBOs will continue tomorrow and then in better shape, hopefully!