Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Road that Lies Ahead

Is going to be wet tomorrow, but no surprises there really. I’ve been lucky enough to get a long-range weather forecast from a friend and the weather looks pretty good for the trip. Yay! Here’s my route.

There are two things of import about my route. The first is that it indicates the winner of the name competition and that it Murphy (goddamitt!), so Murphy it is. Murphy Gypsy Dunlop. Secondly the little Murphys indicate my intended overnight points. My plan is for seven nights travel, although I have a contingency for 8 nights in case I want a couple of easy days from Okarito to Franz and then Franz to Fox. That aside the plan is:
  • Greymouth to Ross 66km
  • Ross to Okarito 99km
  • Okarito to Fox Glacier 51km
  • Fox to Lake Paringa 69km
  • Lake Paringa to Haast 52km
  • Haast to Makaroa 79km
  • Makarora to Wanaka 63km

As you can see, I’m not going out to smash myself every day and get there as fast as I can. I’m out to experience the West Coast wilderness. This itinerary should allow me time to stop and have a nosey whenever and wherever I see fit. I’m very excited. I’ve been practising being extremely itchy by being eaten by a mosquito last night which managed to bite me 8 times on my right arm before I splattered it and a horrific quantity of my blood. After getting many opinions on the subject of insect repellent I’ve gone with the home brew technique of 50-50 Dettol and baby oil, to be supplemented with long sleeves, trousers, Anthisan and Polaramine as necessary. I’m also taking plenty of Vit B, just in case. (As an aside, why is there artificial sweetener in Berroca now, it tastes awful. GRRRRRRR!)

I’m all packed. 10.5kgs (thanks for the timely advice Charlotte!) in the panniers including tent, thermarest, sleeping bag and towel; 1.5kgs in my handlebar bum bag; and two 750ml water bottles (to be refilled regularly) mean I’m not exactly travelling light. My train leaves at 8.15am tomorrow, what better way to start an adventure than on a train? I’ve got my journal so I can write up the experience as I go so expect a fairly detailed report upon my return. Actually scratch that. Expect a short synopsis and some photos on my return and then after a yet to be determined number of days, a more detailed description. Tonight I shall eat pasta and chicken and baked lemon cheese cake; hang out with my friends and my amazingly supportive husband. Then tomorrow I’ll be on my own, which is both daunting and exciting. Its over 6 years since I spent very much time completely on my own. Wish me luck and pray to the weather gods for me for tailwinds. See you in a couple of weeks!

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