Today- 22km from Locke Stream Hut to Morrisons Footbridge
Today was a lovely day. Well, not necessarily the weather. Woke up, no rats in the hut, woop! And just snuggled back into my sleeping bag. My getting up time definately has extended in the South Island.
It was moody and drizzly outside, and had been lightly raining on and off through the night. I briefly contemplated a rest day while I had breke. A few of us played a few rounds of cards before packing up to roll out.
Todays trail we had heard , was not really a trail at all, just following the river. With this in mind, I was expecting a rough travel day, big river boulders already slippery from the rain.
The day was super pleasant. The moody weather made for really scenic valley views , and there were trail markers all the way until Kiwi Hut, about 2ish hours in. Lots of refreshing stream crossings, none affected by the rain.
Kiwi Hut was a classic 6 bunker, lots of kiwi calling around, and there were lots of people chilling and having breaks when I arrived. Made a nice hot choccy with my lunch.
Although there were alot of people around today, I walked by myself. Sometimes it’s really nice to have solitude during the day and then socialise at night.
I’m really happy with how my navigation is coming along. I have a fairly sharp eye for trail markings but also really enjoyed following features today.
There was a river crossing or two that were rumored to be a bit hairy after heavy rain. So I wondered if the light rain would affect them.
I crossed the two rivers separately before they joined together, and both were smooth straightforward crossings well within my comfort level.
Later, the TA takes you into a “flood route” which is a crap show of a track that sidles up and down the riverbank, as you would expect a flood route to, to keep you off the river.
After a few persistent hours clambering up and down and up and down over trees and crappy track, I exited onto the river bed for the last km or so to the footbridge.
With the bridge in sight, I walked up some smaller streams and found the track 100m before the campspot for the night.
To my suprise I was the 2nd to arrive, Dan, who walks pretty quick, had overtaken me while i was on flood route, and Eric & Emma who I was sure would be ahead, were nowhere to be seen and rocked up a few hours later with eventful stories from the day.
A bunch of others arrived having walked the riverbed , and it made for a small tent city.
Lying in the hubba, nice to be back in my little home, listening to the kiwi calling.
Tommorrow, only if the weather is looking sharp, will head up Deception Valley to Goat Pass hut. Looking forward to this track as I’ve heard its spectacular. Lots of riverbed boulder hopping so its definately a fair weather route.