At least the sun was still shining and one of the people we saw scaling the hillside earlier greeted us with a grimace of it being a hard day at the office. So too did the three other trekkers following. Once we had pitched the tent and got a brew on, the chit chat was enlightening and lifted spirits amongst the group.
The young German chap (Lasse) trying to ignite his white spirit burner was our entertainment. He just happened to get the laughter and banter back on track so as to forget the day’s perils. It was the first time he was using it so was reading up on the instructions. When he said that it’s a long journey, he was referring to getting his stove working and not the trail as we all had cooked and eaten our dinners before he managed to get some traction.
When he asked if anyone in the group had a thong, there was total silence. What he was actually meaning was a tool so that he could unscrew part of his apparatus. Once deciphered, one was provided, then instructions were re-read.
Another German (John) then informed the group that Germans read the instructions, then read them again; then once more. Then they follow the instructions but then read them once more and then, they would ring the manufacturer hot line to question the instructions. John explained it exactly as Lasse was doing it except with no cell coverage, that bit got omitted.
Lasse’s lighter wouldn’t start the thing so that sent everyone into more hysterics. Again, a borrowed one was provided and eventually he cooked his noodles. He was determined and he got there.
Just like we got to where we needed to be on our first day of the Te Araroa.
It was certainly harder and tougher than we anticipated. Lights out for us happened before the sun had fully set. Aching bodies and no pillow, what more could we ask for?