Adventures of the Hump Ridge track, featuring 6 lucky European women and 2 Kiwi blokes.
It was a mission to get out of Dunedin, as always. The fact that we had all been severely inebriated the night before was neither here nor there. I had packed that morning, ready for an 8am departure. It wasn’t until well past 9 that we finally got on the road, Clara had tried her best to avoid the trip altogether by sleeping in.
Dan’s stellar navigation skills somehow managed to land us in Nightcaps, it was about 2pm by the time we managed to crawl out of that hole. There was a lot of faffing before we finally put boot to track. Dan and co were left in the dust as we motored across the landscape. The track descended steeply down from the clifftops to a collection of ‘cribs’ nestled beside the Waikoau River. There were some Southlanders (some might say bogans) racing around on quad bikes down the four-wheel drive track that formed the highstreet of the little collection of shacks. We made the great sacrifice of waiting for the slowpokes forced to defend ourselves from the full ferocity that the sandfly population could throw at us. No sooner had they caught up and we got back underway towards Port Craig did Dan and Sierra whip their kits off for a photo. Minorly peeved, yet unsurprised, we made an executive decision to leave them to their fate, wombling off down the beach.
The sky was filled with dark rolling clouds, we were painfully aware of the failing daylight. After 3km on the beach we opted to follow the track rather than brave the coastal coastal track with the high tide and impending darkness. Given the state of our rumbling tummies a halt was called just after 6, for a good snack and breath, as a substitute for dinner. After ‘dinner’ we traveled in convoy, following the feet of the person in front through the twilight.The call was made to pull out headtorches after we had been stumbling through the darkness for half an hour. Morale was low and legs were weary. Lina, being prepared for any and every eventuation (she was in the army you know) pulled out a speaker off her utility belt. Soon we were trucking along to such appropriate tramping songs as ‘ I’m Gonna Be (500…