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December 3 2023, DOC Black Rock Campsite to Anakiwa:
The winds were vicious last night; someone’s tent had also shredded. It would have been inevitable for it to have collapsed at some point during the night, but it couldn’t have been a more perfect time for it to apparently happen. I was surrounded by people and hiking with Orange Man, so luckily I had a backup plan. He said he liked my company and that I could stay in his tent for the rest of the TA if I wanted to.
Thank God, I thought to myself.
We didn’t have much motivation to get out of our tents due to rain. We could feel the chilling breeze making its way through the walls. Still, we knew it was time. I started rustling around, getting ready to change out of my clothes.
“I love the way you smell by the way,” Orange said as I moved around. “Just your scent. It’s intoxicating. I’ve never smelled anyone like you.”
I was convinced I did have some weird juju going on because so many men and women have told me this, even one of my family members told me I had a very specific scent.
He turned over to his other side and said, “Mm, you smell so good.”
“I definitely do not agree with that right now but thanks!” I said as I laughed.
I opened the rainfly and said, “Wow, this is way worse than I thought it would be.”
“Yep,” Orange agreed, “welcome to New Zealand.”
We had a late start, getting going around 9:30am. Everyone had already left by then and it was only us packing up. We got everything together quickly then started hiking in the rain. We took a break a couple of miles in. Orange sat on a stone bench while I went across from him on the wooden one. He joined me. I could feel the subtle energy play between us. I was able to pick up on it before I had even flown out of the country. He sat really close next to me, our legs brushed up against one another’s.
“Are you cold?” he asked.
I already knew where it was going.
“Nope, I’m good right now,” I said.
A few moments later he placed his arm around my waist and scooted in closer.
Fuck, I thought to myself.
I was so sick of having these conversations in my life. I didn’t say anything in the moment because I was really cold and wanted to continue hiking. I felt awkward, closed off and quiet the rest of the time.
Eventually, I got into a flow zone and it seemed as if I could not stop walking. I almost felt as if I was on a bike, cruising around each turn and hill. Orange kept saying “you’re a beast,” while inviting me to either slow down or attempt an FKT (fastest known time). I thought it was sweet, taking it as a compliment coming from him because he knew me from the very start of my hiking career when I was bitching about absolutely everything.
Along the walk, we came across a sweet horse pasture. Then, we ran into a weka and its chicks! Orange caught one gently and we held it sweetly. Its heat emanated through its fuzzy layer of feathers. It pooped in my hand, then we let it go back to its mother.
It rained on us the entire day, but it wasn’t too bad. It was a steady kine pitter patter and didn’t leave us chilled to the bone such like the east coast rain. My inner thighs started chafing near the end of the hike, that being my first ever experience. Orange said the skin would only get tougher between my legs after some time.
We made it down to the small village of Anakiwa. We road walked a little bit. There were water sports programs occurring as we trekked alongside the water, young students practicing how to kayak and row in the water. Young teenagers threw rounded rocks into the sea and watched as the water rippled.
Orange got us an Airbnb and the first thing I did was hop in the bathtub. We were talking through the doors about ordering food and what our plans were for the next upcoming days. I moved throughout the water, moaning in enjoyment, grateful for the warmth.
“Goldie, can I join you?” he asked through the other room.
I rolled my eyes.
“No,” I said kindly, “I’m really enjoying myself right now.”
I felt bothered by the feeling of being an attractive woman, as if it all of a sudden meant I had some sort of flirtatious price to pay for spending time with someone. I felt really convinced I owed someone something, but I knew at this point in my life that I was the only one responsible for that feeling. The truth was I didn’t owe anyone anything of myself and that nothing was ever expected out of me. He apologized after the fact and I let it go.