We woke up at 6am in the Monument hut, it was still dark out and windy. We were out of the hut by 7, beginning our two hour hike out in the 35-40˚ wind and rain. The mountains lining our valley were freshly capped in snow. At around 9:15 we reached the DCRP, the D. Carlile Reunion Point, and we smushed into the tiny Nissan. Upon being dropped in Twizel, we changed into dry clothes (the public toilets in Twizel have heated floors, who knew), stopped at a coffee shop, and bade farewell to our dear friend Grayson. After an hour of standing by the roadside unsuccessfully, Tristan the Friendly Trucker stopped while going the opposite direction, and asked us if we would like a ride. We gratefully said yes, and crammed into the cab while he took us on a couple of his stops along the two hour ride to Timaru. Tristan, while friendly, kept the windows open and the heat on, which resulted in cold feet and confused body temperatures. Once dropped in Timaru, we ate lunch and were about to begin hitching again when the police drove up to us, sirens blaring. Apparently there was an unstable 24 year old male with a knife trying to hitch to Christchurch. We assured the police that our 21 year old male was not the one they were looking for, and that we would keep an eye out for the wanted one. Immediately after the police left, an elderly woman came out of her house and ushered us inside — think the beavers in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. She proceeded to try and book us a bus back to chch so we wouldn’t have to hitch, and ordered her husband to make us tea and cheesy toast. We sat inside with Raven and the Bird Man for an hour warming up by the fire, drinking tea, eating biscuits, interpreting rocks, and marveling at the birds and walking sticks that were hand carved by the Bird Man. After ensuring we had a yet-to-be-paid booking, should we need it, Raven and the Bird Man said goodbye. We walked up the road a block and began to hitch once more, hopeful that the police were no longer looking for the 24 year old. We were hitching for no more than 15 minutes when the police drove by, honked at us and waved, their wanted human in the back seat. A few minutes later we were picked up by a member of New Zealand’s national underwater hockey team, heading up to chch for trials. We had a glorious ride with him, listening to all the old Now CDs and discovering the absurdity that is underwater hockey. He dropped us off at Countdown, we came home, took showers, made dinner, started laundry, watched Frozen, and drank hot yoghurt drink. What a day.