Breakfast at Double Hut was incredible if only for the view. I sat on the grass surrounded by rabbit shit with a cup of tea and a re-hydrated meal and soaked it in.
Angelynn has decided she is going to leave us as she wants to complete the journey before her flight. It appears the slackpacker life can no longer be hers.
Still, we all started off together and walked to where Hakatere Road diverged from the track, gave her a hug, and then watched her dwindle into the distance…..OK, that part is purely metaphorical. We did turn around after a 100m or so but she had already disappeared. Maybe a testament to her awesome hitching powers, possibly because she is so fast, but more probably because there was a bloody hill in the way by then. We waved anyway.
After that it was pretty much walking over a baking hot plain, through a valley, a saddle with a dead lake, and then down towards Lake Clearwater.
It’s a little bit windy up here at the moment. The forecast is saying about 150km wind gusts but we haven’t seen anything near that yet. Hopefully we won’t as my present camping position is so exposed that it is in danger of getting me arrested. A couple of large rocks have been placed on strategic pegs to give me hope.
Tomorrow we will be going to Mt Sunday, location of Edoras in the Lord of the Rings movies.
Sometimes you do see people again.
At around 7:00pm a guy turned up who had already walked 50km and wanted to reach the river (10km away) before nightfall.
Last night was amazing. At some point during the night the A-frame began to shudder as double strength gusts of wind ripped down the valley.
On waking I discovered my shoes had been blown away. The first was easily found but the second escaped me until Silvin discovered it near the hut.
That was just the beginning of an interesting day.
About 5km down the track Angelynn appeared with one of my shoes. I had apparently failed to attach to my pack properly. I walked almost all the way back to the hut before I found the other one.
This meant that I only caught up with Angelynn and Silvan at the next hut. Then we began a long journey up the Round Hill Creek to the saddle.
The trail wasn’t the easiest. Occasionally wind would come down the valley that was so strong it whipped water off the top of the river and sprayed all in its path. I swear at one point I was pelted by small pebbles borne on the wind.
Also, my shoe laces decided they would constantly undo and, worse, I lost the top of a walking pole in the river (Angelynn had new ones and said I could have her old ones to see if I liked them).
Oh, and I forgot to charge my phone so no photos today either. This was especially a pain in the arse as the mountains were giant grey shingle peaks with tussock lands beneath them.
The final ignominy came upon reaching the hut when I discovered the Kindle had a cracked screen. Just not my day I suppose.
Sometimes things do happen in threes.
I wish I had of charged my phone.
Everyone has different walking speeds.
Don’t forget things.
Double Hut has one of the better views on Te Araroa.