FEB 10 // DAY 12

I will eventually share a video of the scene of horror that greeted my tired eyeballs upon awakening. It was drizzling and approximately one hundred sandflies had collected between our tent and the rain fly. I lay there for twenty minutes, contemplating how much the next hour of my life was going to suck before rousing Tiffanie. Somehow, we managed to cook and eat breakfast, pack up our gear and consume double the recommended dosage of Aleve before heading back down the trail.

Obviously, we made it because I’m writing this, but we made a fatal error early on that was not realized until mid-way down the mountain. We did not bring enough food. Remember how I told you about Tiffanie the Tamagachi? Not pretty, my friends, not pretty. At the very bottom, we ran into an obnoxiously peppy crew of Australians who were planning to hike halfway up in the dark. “Was it a good hike?” they inquired, cheerfully. “I wouldn’t call it that,” was Tiffanies’s response. “Oh, you mean good or a hike?” Laughs all around, but seriously, I hope they’re okay.

Our only joy upon returning to the car was a warm bottle of ginger beer and the scattered remains of the hundred sandflies that uselessly buzzed themselves to exhaustion against the inside of the dashboard window while we were away. I don’t often celebrate death in this fashion but you should see our legs. The rest of the evening is fuzzy and involved driving through the mountains toward Queenstown. We found a car camping area on a windy lake, set up the mattress pad in the back and passed the hell out.