This is not how I imagined starting my three day hike through the glorious mountain pass of the Routeburn Track. Having hitch hiked my way from Queenstown to Glenorchy, I have been walking ever since…
It is about 26km to the start of the track. I have 19km left.
The day is passing too quickly for my liking. I shout to Sköll to slow his pace; Árvakr and Alsviðr could do with a rest… He pays no attention. Bloody wolves; at this rate, I won’t even make it to the very first hut before dusk – maybe not before nightfall.
Sometimes, it is tough being a Guildsman. Still, at least there is the scenery:
Suddenly, a rumbling. A waterfall? A stampede of brahmin? Is Fenrir breaking free of his chains?
RAGNAROK IS UPON US!
Ah no. It is a car!
I stick out my thumb on a whim and, at the last moment, it pulls over. A little old lady called Margaret beacons for me to hop in. I am ashamed to say the honour of the Guild doesn’t even enter my mind – I am saved!
Margaret covers about 10km, telling me all about the stunning surrounding scenery. Apparently, this is Mordor! I resolve to storm the Black Gate, should I stumble across it.
Alas, the end of my ride comes too soon – at the end of the sealed road. I remember from a map on a wall that the unsealed road to the Routeburn is 9km long. It is 15:15… It is going to be a long day.