Today- 15km +5 off trail km to Hope Kiwi Lodge
Woke up at nearly 9 am this morning in my comfy bed at the Hamner Springs YHA. Leisurely morning of coffee, and took a shower. Felt so relaxed after my hot spring session yesterday.
Decided not to take a rest day after all, but caught up with Tom, and my family on the phone for a while in the morning.
Had a chat with one of my best mates who has just had her first kid, so exciting!
Dawdled around Hamner until nearly 1pm then got my act together , and got a ride out to the junction with the highway in about 2seconds.
When I got to the junction I saw Wieke [Dutch] and Oli [French] who were trying to get a ride. Dan &Liv [USA] were chilling across the road in the grass and I joined them, waiting my turn in the hitching line. It took them a while, but they had success, and then Dan and Liv got a ride in about two seconds, and then I barely had stuck out my thumb and I got picked up.
Cheer Andrew from chch for the ride and good chat.
Made a bit of a blunder and got dropped too far up the road so ended up having to walk about an hour to get to the start of the track.
It was mid afternoon by the time I started walking and I pottered along, enjoying the later afternoon sun and evening light.
The track went through some forrest then opened up into the big valley, incredible tussock views and rolling mountains.
Really enjoyed the walk, the lighting was incredible. Passed Hope halfway biv, and decided to keep going to Hope Kiwi Lodge as apparently it was really nice.
Followed the track through some boggy bits, no dry feet today!
A nice swingbridge and someones camp spot near the river.
I really like the tussock valleys that seem endless, especially when there is a nice easy flat trail for a few kms to stretch the legs.
Popped around the corner and came across what looked like someones house. Home for the night, the Hope Kiwi lodge is a beautiful hut with a log cabin feel. Was a pretty full house and met with others I’d seen in Hamner.