Yeah, the rain stopped, although it still looked gloomy.

Everyone was polite, and keen to get up early. The Polish couple to hit hitchhike to the West Coast. The older couple to reach their campervan.

Unusually I was the first to leave. After an hour the Polish couple caught me up, quickly overtook, and vanished from sight.

I was no real hurry, other than wanting to get a ride to Windy Point, about 8 km down the road. That has a swing bridge to cross still flooded rivers.

I arrived at the road to see the Polish couple just getting into a car in the Reefton direction. I was heading the other way and waited a while, then relatively quickly a van stopped and I enjoyed a quick chat for 10 minutes until it was time to disembark.

12 30 pm. I’d had lunch, and was on the swingbridge. That all worked out.

Not sure why, but today I felt the weight of the pack on my shoulders.

When this hut was found to be empty, almost 5 pm, it was time to relieve my aches. Relief as my pack came off.

I saw in the hut book that six Sobos, trampers on Te Araroa heading south, had come through from Boyle Village and had gone on to Hope Kiwi Lodge.

Yeah. I’m back on Te Araroa. This is all very familiar.

I came to the decision to go and have a look at Top Hope Hut before coming back to have a look at the wrong side, ie, east side of Lake Sumner.

The rain/drizzle started once again just after I reached the hut. It would make more sense if the current season wants to really be termed summer, for this dreary rain and general gloominess to come to an end.

I’ve got another week to get to Greymouth or Hokitika, where I’ll make a decision whether I continue with my walking, or call this summer a washout, and head back to Nelson to dry out.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Hope Halfway Hut

Hope Halfway Hut, Lake Sumner
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