I had a great sleep all alone in the hut. I had hung up my food bag as I had read about mice in the hut, but didn’t hear a thing all night! I was up and out by 7am. It was a breezy morning on the little terrace the hut was situated on. The trail started off through marshland, then into beech forest. To be honest I’m a bit over the forest. It’s very pretty, and you get a nice view immediately around, but see nothing of the long distance. You can’t see how far you’ve got to go or not, and I prefer seeing what’s out there & what’s to come.
The path was very well marked. In the trail notes it was mentioned it was difficult to follow, but DOC must have been in and upgraded the markers and swept away the windfall, as it was really quite a good trail. Again there were lots of ups and downs.
It was another very hot day and I was already sweating at 8.30am. There were some impressive sized trees today, and lots of little toadstool groves.
I reached Lower Wairaki hut at midday. I had 30 minutes for lunch before continuing. I found the afternoon really difficult. A 500m hill is nothing really compared to some of them, but I found it really tough in the heat – even in the shade of the forest.
Today, for the first time, I entertained thoughts along the lines of “wouldn’t it be nice if I was at the end now”… and “I could just finish in Bluff”… which was the first time I’d thought about ending the trail. I took 10 steps and rested, 10 more and rested. About 1km from the top, just after a steep section, and just as I was getting all huffy, someone had written ” smile” on the DOC orange marker on a tree. It was nice to get a gentle reminder!
Eventually I reached the top. It was 3pm. I had a celebratory museli bar. A little further up and I was on the Takitimu Tops, and what a view!! I could see all the way to the south coast – woo! My mood lifted immediately. The trail continued over and down the rocky ridge, then through farmland. I resumed grumbling to myself, on the downhill, and didn’t stop until I reached Telford campsite at 4.45pm. I drank 4 litres of water today, and rushed to get more from the stream.
Once in camp I had a wash in the stream, and did the camp setup etc. I had a couple of camp buddies: Steven (Belgian) and Llew who hosted the TA Xmas party in Wellington. He’s been putting in some really big days, Sometimes as much as 50kms and has reached here in the same time as me.. and I have the top half of the south island to go back and do!! He’s lost a bit of weight since I last saw him!!
I’m looking forward to tomorrow with slightly less hills… We’re due a big storm, so I hope that cools things down!