Cruisey day leaving Hanmer, 2 hitches to get back on trail. Scorching hot day, walking through beech forest and swampy tussock for 15km to Hope Kiwi hut. Such an awesome hut, guess built in the 70’s as it is a lockwood. Met some cool people who were going north so filled us in on what’s ahead.
Headed out early as we had 30km to do today. We decided to follow the river bed as it will be faster walking. We had a head wind and the rain started about 2 hours into the day. Soaked and cold, only one thing to do… Keep going, we huddled together occasionally and with cold shaking fingers stuffed muesli bars in our mouths and kept going. The rain only lasted about 3 hours in the end. The wind dried us out pretty quick.
Found the place to get back on trail that led us to a hot water pool perched on the side of a hill. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself. We couldn’t strip off fast enough, I’m sure the sandflies get bigger and bigger. It was worth it! 5km more to hut, we arrived just in time before the heavens opened. We lit a fire in the hut and tried to plan the next day, reports of 40ml of rain overnight which will be to much to walk out of here. Oh well we warm dry and cozy so will make a call tomorrow xx
Arrrrgh it rained all night, including hail. We decided we should try to get to Kiwi Hut, 21km away. Headed out in our rain pants and jackets, they lasted about 20min. The track had turned into a river and the river crossings were now knee deep and not rock hoppable. We stayed close as everything was harder and slippery.
Neither of us could feel our fingers or toes, not alot of talking, we just tried to move as fast as safely possible. Lunch was sitting on the floor of a tiny bivvy, we were thankful for the shelter. Locke Steam hut was about 3 hours away, word on the trail is don’t stay there as it is rat infested! Well the rats better f..k off because the Grounds are coming! Hut was built in 1939 and is mostly in its original condition. Big open fire and enough firewood to get us warm (if we sat on top of it heheh)
Hot food, dry clothes and the world seems a different place.
Next day only light drizzle, we thought the rivers may have dropped a foot so thought we would try n get the 22km out of here and hitch to a town.
No such luck, rain got heavier and river’s clearly not passable. We had to do a 2 person safety crossing. I filled Bindi in on how to do it and he took the lead. Great team work but not something I would like to do again, VERY SCARY
Kiwi hut was only 8km away so we decided to get there and stay. Not sure yet might be here awhile…. We have 2 days food left and plenty of water
Still raining and very cold! Snow now on mountain just above us. We have to stay another night. Bindi collected wet wood and I tried to dry it and keep fire going. Kept us busy!
I have rationed out our food, if we stop getting munchies it should last 2 days.
Day 3, and we are still hold up in Kiwi Hut. We decided to try and walk out today. Rivers were flowing fast so we followed river up about 2km looking for a safe place to cross. Linking arms through the back of our packs we entered the river… Only about 10 steps in it became obvious we would not make it😭
We back tracked to Kiwi hut, were we knew we could wait it out one more day. So frustrating to be only 10km away from a road yet no way to reach it.
Day 4, no rain last night, hoping the rivers have dropped. We ate our last food, a wrap with peanut butter, yum 😋. Rivers looked lower but still running swift, we walk the river bank for hours trying to find a safe spot to cross. Now or never, we linked up and went in… Scariest thing I have done in my life! We made it, I nearly burst into tears on the other side.
But wait there is more, it took us 9 hours to get out, multiple river crossings, wet muddy bush and rocky river beds. Just happy to be out and true to form Bindi just needs to find a pub!