Hiking the “Te Araroa” took about five months so I had one month left on my visa to see a few landmarks that were not necessarily on the trail.
I traveled to The Catlins and did some kayaking in the Milford Sounds. There’s a lot to see in New Zealand and clearly I will have to go back at some point.
Funny story; after kayaking for a full day my body stopped generating heat. I was freezing no matter what. I was staying in a hostel in the evening and I ended up going to bed with two heavy blankets & sheets, plus my sleeping bag and all my clothes on. I was still freezing. It took several hours for my body to restart…To this day I have no idea what the problem was. It wasn’t Hypothermia (I had that twice on the Colorado Trail, trust me, I know…) but it’s one of the strangest things that happened to me on a trail.
I did lose a good part of my hearing (right side) for almost two days after a tiny branch went straight through my ear along the Te Araroa. My ear “popped” eventually and everything was fine. I also broke my arm there so I had to hike for six weeks using my camera bag as a “sling”. Luckily it fixed itself. In 2007 I lost all feelings in my right leg while backpacking late in the evening. Feelings came back. I think my backpack was putting too much pressure on some nerves. Who knows. Shit happens and people complain way too much if you ask me. Anyway…