After breakfast a few of us rented a car to get into town to organise a few things. My phone was messing with me the last few weeks. The battery just went down quickly, the phone shut off in between and a few more hick ups. Too much to be reliable on the trail as my only source of navigation and rescue device.

I got to the store, the Apple employee ran a diagnosis program and couldn’t find a battery problem. We started talking and he asked what I was doing here – so I told him. After a short while of disbelieve he just looked at me and said: “Bro, you need a new phone! I won’t let you go out there without a working phone!”. I just looked at him astonished and asked how the warranty situation looked like. He just turned his screen to me – my very last day of the one year warranty was today! Can you believe? I had bought the phone on the 18. May 2016 in New Zealand after submerging my old one in salt water. On the 17. May 2017 I am sitting here now… Sometimes luck is on your side! He just smiled at me and said if I would have come after 5pm a replacement phone would have been 350$.

So we backed my phone up in the cloud deleted the old one and he handed me my new one. When I wanted to sign into my Apple Account to download my backup onto the new phone it asked me to insert a code which had been sent to my telephone number and my computer. The telephone number listed was my old New Zealand number which doesn’t exist anymore and my computer is back in Germany with a friend. 😳 He told me to call the hotline to see if they could do anything. They could – but it would have taken 7 days to unlock my account after I had send in a bunch of documents. No option at all. I was stuck! A new phone which worked but nothing on it. No contacts, no maps, no nothing. My last hope: my friend Annabel in Germany who has my computer. I logged into my Facebook account on one of the computers in the Apple store and send her a message. And all friends who I knew would have her number… To make a long story short. It was 12 o’clock at night, she had just come home from Chicago and luckily heard her phone. She got my computer turned it on and send me the code which appeared on the screen and I was able to start the download.

Wow. Enough luck for a while!!!

The day itself sucked. I sat in the Apple store until they closed at 9 at night. In between I drove the other ones back in camp, came back to the apple store, did my chores in town, food shopping and so on. Luckily the Little One joined me and watched my phone in the store while I did my shopping and I had company as well. When we finally got home at 0:30 I was done.

After I returned the car the next morning (which also took 2.5h) I needed a 3h nap and then did all my chores (repairing gear, sending equipment ahead for the mountains, packing food and all these little things. It was already 4pm and we wanted to leave this day. But Sophia and I just looked at each other completely exhausted from these 1.5 days in town and mad the call to stay the night and head out tomorrow. A good decision! The vortex of Hiker Heaven had gotten us… 😂

I finished up and we had a free evening with cooking and also hanging out with the family who was finally reunited. A really needed evening after the heavy last week and the town days.

It is hard to understand until you are in the trail yourself – but the hiker life is busy and stressful in its own way. And I am not complaining but it is. During the day you don’t have any time at all since you are always hiking. So no free hands or time to do anything but hiking. That’s also why I love it I guess. The only thing which keeps you busy during the day is the thoughts about the day, the next water source, how much food you are allowed to eat, what consequences it will have if you do more or less than your planned milage and so on. During the breaks you eat as much as you can, filter water, plan the rest of the days in the maps and try to nap for a short while to recover. The five minutes which we always have or take to make a phone call in normal life just don’t exist. So whenever you are in town you struggle with treating yourself with food and drinks, relaxing and catching up with people, buying food, charging batteries, making backups, all your other chores and planning and also contacting the “outside world”. Town days are way more stressful than hiking and as much as you crave a town for food and showers as happy you are to leave it after a day to have peace again…