I woke up around 7:00, it was bright.
The sun was shining, the wind was minimal, the birds were very awake already.
How long did I sleep? How did I feel?
Not too long and not too good. My shoulders were hurting quite bad and my feet were sour. I slowly got to getting up, as I was camped on a spot that was quite visible from the path but not so legal I decided to get up quickly and just get ready to go. Get rid of camping evidence sort of speak. Packing the tent back into it's tiny little bag might even be complicated so better start it quickly.
I got out my tent and the world seemed changed a bit. The bright light from the sun was a welcome guest and the fresh air from the Sounds brought kind of a smile to my face. Tired but well, I made it, that first night. I did breakfast on the spot, just an energy bar for now, then heated water and made some noodles and coffee.
Then time to repack everything, tent as the last piece of the puzzle.
After some walking through the bush I got my first glance out of the bush... It was a gorgeous day!
A bit more walking behind some beach-houses of 'The Pines' area and I found a stream where I could fill up my water bottles and brush my teeth. Wash my face and I even shaved.
After crossing the Big Bay campsite the trail hit a road at the Penekuru Saddle. I was a bit surprised although if I would have studied the maps better I would have known. The view 'inland' looked a bit more populated, as roads and some houses were visible in the distance. I thought I was making huge progress but that seemed not the case when I arrived near the Bay of Many Coves.
Beautiful views opened up while almost there, especially with this weather.
At around 15:00 I arrived at the ridge where the Bay of Many Coves shelter was located. The last hour I was struggling with the steepness of the trail, sometimes it was quite brutal and with that heavy pack on the back in the burning sun, it was just too much.
At the Bay of Many Coves there were three people already, when I got there two guys were sitting in front of the shelter smoking some weed. After a short 'hi' and some talking I decided to call it the day, not make the same mistake as yesterday again and just pitch my tent and cook some dinner.
Also talking with the one guy from Switzerland, the other guy was an American and while pitching my tent in the bush behind the shelter I met the girl that also was American. I didn't talk too much to them though, they were a bit chilling and hanging back, sometimes in their tents and I was just trying to make my meal a proper one.
After a while Shai arrived at the shelter. I'd probably passed him while he was still having breakfast on a campsite in the morning, we chatted some and while making dinner Alan arrived. He was the guy on the boat from Picton to Ship Cove!
During the hours after dinner I heard a lot of conversations between Teddy (the American guy), Alan and Shai. It was quite amusing. Teddy had done the North part of the trail as well, (walked the 90 mile beach in a day or two instead of 5, because he thought it was too boring). Alan and Teddy shared some trail stories from the North Island.
* The story of the weka's and the campfire...
As it was forbidden to make a campfire on the trail, we discussed making one. It would be awesome at the shelter to enjoy a fire together, but as it's prohibited... We discussed it but the three that already were there, put an end to our discussion, claiming they did that before but something made them quite hesitant to do so again...
The Weka! The weka's would walk around and next to steal sausages and packaging even steal the burning coals from the campfire; as this sounds pretty funny, it's obviously not so funny cause they are pretty quick to run off into the bush with the glowing coals!
When it got dark we were still sitting in the shelter. It got colder but the unfolding night-sky made me stay up a while. Also the catlike creature that was walking around the place...
As other went to sleep I ended up with Alan looking at the sky a bit more and then we also decided to call it the (beautiful starry) night.