Was this the back end of the miner’s trail as we hugged the true left bank of the mighty Mōhikinui River gorge; or was this the front end if walking in reverse?

Either direction, the undulation with the stunning pearl green river views, narrow trail with overhang and wire fencing, swing bridges that housed one person, two persons of five at a time and the like, really amplified the awe, and some.

It was the final day on The Old Ghost Road and an above average number distance wise.  Especially coming off the 25km the day before.

Piwakawaka’s darted the tree line trying to talk to us with their bird squeak talk.  Kereru swooped the higher branches.  Goat turds left evidence of their presence.  We had to step off the trail to allow the dentist and partner squeeze through with their final words offered “have a great life” as they rode off disappearing around a bend.

You just know when people are getting tired when they start to pose unnaturally for photo’s.  It’s okay.  If we can’t laugh at ourselves etc, etc, etc.

And just like that, the number 85 appeared on a track sign post.  Soon after, we exited off the trail beneath a similar hanging sign that read ‘The Old Ghost Road’.

High fives, social distancing hugs, congratulations said and then a pack dismount. Not necessarily in that order.  Before a final collective photo.

We found our re-located vehicle (thank you Buller Adventures) who threw in a complimentary bush shower at the Rought and Tumble Bush Lodge.

There is something to be grateful for when you can douse in shampoo or soap to clense and nourish the body.  The smell of clean is a thing.

We loaded the tramping gear aboard in readiness for the a huge drive back to Christchurch.

Interrupted with an early feed and ale at the Seddonville pub before turning left to head south.

A toilet stop at Culverden had all five of us wonky walking as joints had stiffened together from the seating posture.  All part and parcel of body weariness from the five days of continuous tramping on The Old Ghost Trail.

Conclusion – we would rate this trail with it’s unheralded diversity.

And it’s on our back door step.

Trail information does promote it should be attempted by technically competent and fit mountain bikers (we would agree) and experienced and fit trampers (we would also have to agree) however, anyone with a passionate ‘want to’ with some focused planning and certainly pre-conditioning training will be able to knock it off.

Become a statistic that has.

There is an absolutely difference between “I’m glad I did” versus “I wish I had of …”

Full stop.

Until the next adventure …