So the itinerary worked out. Rocks Hut was the destination and I walked in at 7 15 pm.
Sleeping in a tent always makes for a slow start for me, and not because I don’t get up early. I was actually up before 6 30 am, a time that requires my headlamp for half an hour or so.
I sat at the picnic table watching the antics of a couple of wekas, hoping they weren’t going to rifle through my tent which was out of sight. I got to talking with the hut inhabitants about various tramps wasn’t until almost 9 am that I left.
Not much to say about the day, I had that destination on my mind for once, and smashed it out.
Yup, destination driven.
I had spent the summer just ambling along, taking note various things that took my attention, but today I just switched off from my environment in the main.
I concentrated on getting down the longest downhill on Te Araroa initially. It’s plenty steep in places, verging on overgrown due to sections of bracken and red beech sapling encroachment, although there are a couple of spots with grand distant views of Pyramid Rock.
Actually I concentrated on not falling over.
Some rock hopping in Hacket Stream.
Then I realised I had a big afternoon, it’s quite along way from Hacket to Rocks Hut.
I met a few people along the way. A couple of Americans of the friendly variety, a solitary guy who kept marching on, okay. A group of four internationals laughing cheerily, who stopped for a quick chat.
An hour from the hut I met a woman sitting quietly, alone in the forest, staring at a significantly sized red beech tree. I tried conversation. She was intent on the next hut, from whence I had come, but was unaware of exactly how far it was, and wasn’t much concerned about gaining information. Actually it had taken me around four hours by that stage.
Only an hour and a half of daylight remaining, and this is one track you wouldn’t like to come off. Walking along the ridge there was no prospect of water until actually at the hut.
Maybe she knew what she was doing, but I wasn’t taking any responsibility. I guess it wasn’t actually dangerous as long as she stayed on the track, and that wouldn’t be an easy task once the sun had set, but overall it’s not an experience I’d like these days. It’s not like there was the choice of open spaces the whack up a tent. Particularly when there was a well appointed hut nearby.
I raced on, noting some pink pines on the ridge.
Strangely with me coming down from the alpine zone the clouds closed in on the peaks.
Seems I once again been super lucky with the weather.
Now I don’t really care.
Tomorrow night I’ll be back in my own bed.