After the Cook Strait, the trail is easy through Queen Charlotte, then challenges increase with the Richmond Range and Nelson Lakes with huge, exposed climbs.
After Iwituaroa Reserve and road walk to Havelock for mussels, Blissful stays with trail angels.
It’s easy road walk to the emerald pools of the Pelorus River and sandfly hell.
It’s a steep ascent to the Totara Saddle through a magical “Hobbit Haunt” of beech forest.
Blissful heads steeply up to the ridge with a mountain carpet for miles and magical beech forests.
I fall after Travers Pass bending my pole and ego, then it’s through magical beech forest to Blue Lake.
It’s easy to Boyle Village and two men offer to stay together for the dangerous river crossings ahead.