The rain is back and in a big way! It started raining during the night and didn't let up the entire day. As I was laying in my tent lamenting the fact that I was, once again, going to have to take my tent down in the rain, I got to thinking. If I can use my tent footprint and rainfly without the tent, could I somehow take the tent down inside the rainfly? "Carmen" said to give it a try. Step by step I released the tent from the poles. Once everything was loose, I was able to crawl under the rainfly and fold up the tent out of the rain! Also, I had resigned myself to having chocolate and cookies (biscuits) for breakfast (not too terrible, but not ideal). Once I got the tent folded up, I realized I could cook my breakfast under the rainfly! So, I had my usual breakfast, then took the rainfly and footprint down.
It continued to rain steadily. I went past Lake Moeraki then popped back out to the coast at Knights Point. That was a good climb to get to the lookout. At the lookout there was a covered shelter. Now, so far, there has never been any kind of covered area at these waysides or viewpoints. I guess this just shows that this is the rainforest and it rains...alot.
After a snack and potty stop (another unusual thing to find a viewpoint), I continued up abit more then down only to go right back up again...and again...
Finally, I came down a long descent and came to Ships Creek. There was another covered picnic shelter and who should I see but Dick and Pauline who I had met at Greymouth! It was great to see them again! They headed on their way and I sat down for some lunch of peanutbutter, nutella and sand flies on a pita. I didn't care too much for the sand flies, but at least most of me was covered with rain gear. I also met three people from Gig Harbor! Stan, Elaine and Linda came into the shelter while I was eating my lunch. They saw my WA State flag on Betsy and said they were from WA too! Turns out they are also on the same flight out of Auckland on the 21st! How weird is that???
I headed back out into the pouring rain for the last 10 or so kilometers to Haast. Diane, who I met at Fox Glacier told me about this Top 10 Holiday Park. So, I pulled in at about 2:15. Since I had figured out how to take the tent down under the rainfly, I decided to try to put up the fly first then the tent to keep it dryer. It worked!
Then I was off for a shower and laundry. Mike, one of the managers here showed me where I could dry my rain gear on a drying rack in front of a heater in the lodge. So, all is clean and dry now! The kitchen, toilets and showers are in a converted helicopter hangar. It's a pretty cool place!
The rain has let up, and tomorrow is supposed to be nice. That's good because I have to go over Haast Pass.
I met the French cyclist that was at Lake Paringa last night. The guy's tent was soaked inside. He camped in the grass (I did not). He said there was no other place. I told him he could have set up next to me. He is here tonight and his tent is drying.
Time to connect to the Internet, and send this.