After a good night sleep I woke up around 8ish.
Muscle-pains still getting worse, I got up that morning while Shai & Alan were already in full readiness to get going again. I took it easy and had my coffee and some smokes.
Not sure if I would see Shai & Alan again, we said our goodbyes while I hung around a bit with Teddy and the two others. They were not going to continue the trail yet, they were planning to stay around the Queen Charlotte track until Christmas. They would travel to bigger cities for Christmas and New Years to continue the trail later on.
So I departed a couple of hours later, around 10ish, fresh filtered rainwater in my bottles, sleeveless shirt on, backpacks on the back and front, cap against the sun. Off we go!
The sun was really burning today, temperatures did rise rapidly.
The trail continued giving beautiful views on the surrounding 'Sounds'.
Around midday at Black Rock campsite I caught up with Shai and Alan, who just finished their lunch. Comparing the weights of our packs I seemed to win with my heavy stuff. A weka family in the bushes nearby stole a plastic bag which we had to catch again and we just really enjoyed the peace and hotness of the sun.
I was planning to keep moving at my (slightly) faster pace and kept walking until I hit Torea Saddle. The trail crossed a sealed road (at a monument for WWII) and from here the trail would split, for a nearby campsite (Cowshed Bay campsite) you had to go downhill, and the main trail went further upwards to the highest climb on the Queen Charlotte track, Shamrock Ridge.
As the sun really burnt me and I was feeling quite exhausted I took a break right there, covering up my burnt shoulders and neck and finally decided to wait for Shai & Alan to camp with them together. When they arrived on the crossing they were happy to see me and we planned to go downwards to the Cowshed.
This was probably the best choice as the campsite was really close to the beach, had nice facilities (little kitchen with another little house with flushing toilets and even a (cold water) shower)! Next to all that luxury there was a road between the campsite and the beach that led to a little resort like village called Portage Bay.
Shai & Alan met two trampers on the way, a German girl and a guy (I think French). They met us again at the campsite which was furthermore quite deserted. We took showers in turns which was a delight after 2,5 days of sweating.
Around dinnertime, the five of us followed the road to that resort and ended up at a hotel which was way too fancy for us. So we went in and asked if we could eat something. (Needed to buy me some cigarettes as well). The waiter was okay with our tramper appearances (maybe because it wasn't too busy) and we took place at the back of the restaurant, overlooking the Portage Bay.
After the dinner (the best 'Fish & Chips' I had in New Zealand), we all went walking back to the campsite.
Next to the road was a large container where you could throw in 2 dollars to open up and dispose a bag of garbage into, so I collected every ones carry-around-all-day garbage and tried to dispose it. The garbage disposal container took my money but it didn't open, so I just left the bag on top, stuffed into the handle of the thing - sorry NZ).
We went to visit the little beach across the road of the site but soon it became quite cold so we went back to the shelter and had ourselves a remarkable tea-party. Late night tea with the Magic Light Bulb...