And finally a sunny day, mostly with some wind and it has made my sleeping bag, with some later help from the fire, err, can I say almost dry?

Yahoo! Enough at least to sleep in tonight.

My contingency plan to return forthwith to Nelson to recuperate has been shelved, tomorrow I’m Karamea bound.

A young weka likes sleeping in the sun on the doorstep, nestled down like a chook. It has less time for its sibling and chased it across the stream and up into the shrubbery for a whole shebang of squawking. A few minutes later it was back in its spot with occasional wanders into the hut.

I was sitting in the sun reading and occasionally rustling up the sleeping bag which was swinging for much of the day in the cool breeze.

Did my bit with wood procurement, relatively easy when there are standing dead manuka saplings not so far away and a sharp saw for cutting the arm thickness timber to length.

I spent a whole lot of time reading the hut book, working out that since 1970 24 groups have been documented as coming up and 26 groups had gone down to the lighthouse. That’s just on one group per year. The track to the lighthouse was actually cut in April 1972 but even by 1990 was hard to follow according to hut book accounts, no wonder I had problems. Possum guys had added some electrical tape back in the day but that had obviously all gone in the intervening 44 years.

The early records, up until 1985 might be patchy, there is a piece of ply up on the wall with some faded names. There has been extensive periods when no one at all has visited: 9/96 to 12/98, 27 months, and 11/01 to 5/03, 19 months, a few other times eight months between visits. There was a heightened level of interest around 2007 when the hut was possibly going to be removed and five parties did the trip down to the lighthouse.

I do wonder what happened to the 18 September 2000 trip to the lighthouse of a couple with an eight and nine-year-old, it’s okay to roam over the heathlands with children but dealing with dense scrub is another matter. I would guess they gave up tramping after that experience.

Few seem to have achieved hut to lighthouse in one day, from my GPS I recorded that my days effort’s were two days of less than five hours on the move, and those last 1.6 km took more than 2 hours. That made it around 12 hours of actual walking by my reckoning, but there would be a whole lot more time just standing around not making much progress at all contemplating the vegetation ahead. And muttering.

Overall, the distance between the Kahurangi Keepers Hut and the Ministry of Works Historic Hut is a big 7.6 km. I’d say anybody would be doing well to average 500 m in an hour. Of course travelling light, leaving behind a tent, sleeping mat, and carrying only the necessities would cut some of the battle smashing through the undergrowth, but it is certainly a full body workout for anyone.

There was a kiwi calling during the night again, I’ve heard them each night since the Keepers Hut.

Must be time to bed, I’m leaving for the Heaphy in the morning.

Time for that recently washed, almost dry, but not necessarily clean sleeping bag.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Ministry of Works Historic Hut

The hut is out in the tussock but there is plenty of dry firewood around. | Ministry of Works Historic Hut, Kahurangi National Park
← Day 23 | Ministry of Works Historic Hut, Kahurangi National Park, night 2 Day 25 | bushes 2 km from Heaphy Hut, Kahurangi National Park →