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Jonahan Hare's Diary

Day 19: Rest Day

Slept well from about 9 pm to 7 am last night. Read William Blake till I fell asleep warm and tired. Got going about 9 am and took the road walking deciding to get to a nearby lake, Lake Kinari, about 15-20 km away. So I packed my bag and headed off on the road gloriously carefree, just walking... I love walking with everything I need on my back and a map ...

Lake Kinari is about 15 km or so from Hoki and it took me till about noon to get to the lakeside. This is a breathtaking spectacular place with vast mountains behind a mirror surface. On the way up I had planned to sit and have lunch here and take a couple of hours to do detailed drawings. I wanted to stay still for a couple of hours so that my feet could get a good rest. I did manage to eat my lunch but as it happened the sand flies found me and as I was obviously the only living thing around for miles they decided to eat me for lunch! So my 2-hour break and my patience ran out after a quarter of an hour and I was once again on the move.

Photo: New Zealand landscapeOn the map that I had followed to the lake there was marked a scenic walk where one could follow an old water sluice that was used in the Gold Rush days to bring water to the machines working in the gold fields in that area. In fact the next day the B&B owner was very kind and took me around these gold fields showing me the photos from the 1800s and how nature had reclaimed the area. At one time large wooded towns would be on the move through this part of NZ - following the gold.

Anyway the water duct meanders its way through miles of the country and you can follow it through the hills and woodland - it's a great walk. So instead of following the road back to Hoki I took this track through the wood along the side of the historic waterway. This was a great little adventure but it took me far off the path and added many miles to my walk.

Photo: glacierEventually the path led me back again onto the road to Hoki but a little further down the road. It was still another 10 km or so to Koki so I tried my hand at hitching a lift. After about an hour and a few cars passing me by a woman stopped and offered me a lift. She said that she didn't often give lifts to people but she had seen me going up the road in the morning and had wondered what I was doing. Although the New Zealanders are a friendly bunch it is not easy to hitch on the west coast so I was lucky - my feet were very grateful!

Back in Hoki after a 20 km or so hike I sit outside a café drinking a coffee in the winter sunshine. My feet will forgive me and I feel fit and well. It also seems that everyone on the west coast eventually comes through Hokitika at some time!

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Photo: Jonathan Hare
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