I’d organised to be picked up and taken to the start of the Wangapeka Track, although I’ll be branching off on the Leslie – Karamea, and just like the last time I was the solitary passenger. P had taken me up almost 3 years ago, we had a great chat about that trip, and Karamea in general.

I wasn’t entirely sure if I was getting a ride right to the start of the track, the car park, it’s 7 km up from the road to Westport but P veered off without asking, through some cows on the road wandering back after milking, gave a rabbit a few hundred metres exercise down the road and then I was out with the sandflies.

Charge: $20.

That was a great start.

After yesterday’s rain it didn’t look too bad weather-wise. With the way the huts are arranged I was only aiming for getting to the first hut, three hours walk away. The next leg requires a good 900 m climb to get over Little Wanganui Saddle, almost 1100 m, a big six hours according to DOC, and that can wait until tomorrow.

My body hadn’t fully recovered from the big days from the Ministry of Works Hut so another more relaxed day was entirely appropriate. Actually, I felt like I could easily sleep for a week, not move much at all.

Well, that’s high on the agenda in a week’s time when I make it back home to Nelson.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Belltown-Manunui Hut

Belltown Manunui Hut, Kahurangi National Park
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