Start: Invercargill
Finish: Riverton
Distance: 32km

I woke up feeling extremely unmotivated and sore. Stuck between pushing on through the pain and taking some time to heal, I decided to push on and take a rest day tomorrow instead.

After slowly easing my boots back on the day started with 8km of road walking but I only made it 3km before a blister popped on my little toe and I had to change shoes. Toe socks and sandals it was.

With a new-found freedom and spring in my step we headed to Oreti Beach, wanting to smash out the first 8km before it got too hot.

After making it to the beach we stopped for a quick snack before starting the 24km slog to Riverton.

I was in an alright mood for about the first 5km, my feet felt alright in the sandals and we were motivated by the people driving past with their dogs and giving us a wave. It definitely helped that the beach was much more scenic than the previous day, and we had set goals for the day, little milestones to aim towards.

After 8km we reached the 50km mark! It was a huge milestone and we were only halfway through day 2.

We stopped for a quick snack before starting off again towards our first river crossing. I was nervous, I knew from the notes that the river crossing could be an issue closer to high tide and by the looks of the waves, that’s exactly when we were going to get there. I kept telling myself that if we have to sit and wait then we can, but then I also knew that we were cutting it close to make it by nightime as it was.

As we neared the river I perked up a bit, we passed this old rusted car and a man fishing and as we were on the edge of the river discussing where best to cross that same man decided to go for a skinny dip.

My nerves vanished, as did all other thoughts as I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and I took my shoes and socks off, grabbed my walking pole and waded across.

The water crept up past my ankles, then past my knees, until it was at my waist, and then thankfully started getting shallower again.

We emerged out the other side victorious and feeling so empowered, our first river crossing done! That is, until I realised I’d left my phone in my pants pocket. RIP phone.

There goes all the photos of the morning, so apologies for the lack of photos team.

The beach after this started getting tedious, made worse by the incoming tide pushing us up onto stones which hurt our feet and slowed us down even more.

And with an already dampened mood, when we checked the maps and still had 10km to go the swearing started and the mood got to it’s lowest point.

I was conflicted. I was sore and tired and just wanted to not be doing this anymore but I also felt guilty, here I was walking on a peaceful beach in a part of the country I’ve never visited before and all I could think was ‘how much further?’

After figuring out how to cut 1 or 2 kms off we hobbled up the street to Riverton Lodge Hotel and were welcomed inside by the very sympathetic couple who gave us fresh towels and a warm fire to sit beside. It almost bought a tear to my eye.

Much like last night, after a shower and some food it was beyond bed time, and I lay there looking forward to doing nothing the next day.