As usual, a whole lot of procrastination.
All necessary apparently, but it was after 10 am before I had my pack packed, and my excess two bags securely stored at the backpackers. In the end, I discarded some heavy items of technology. Dried apricots were omitted. Any excess weight, after having carried it onto the ferry. Better not destroy my shoulders on Day 1.
Yeah, I was budgeting for an extended tramp, like 20 days. My shoulders were noticing.
The sun was out, even if fine rain was falling.
It’s more than an hour on asphalt to Lee Bay, in an up-and-down way. Then time for lunch and a farewell to civilisation.
From the road-end, the track takes three hours or so, and is Abel Tasman-like underfoot.
Low tide meant the stream at Maori Beach was no issue. A few others passed me, and then for some reason found other things to do and I struggled past them.
At the hut, it turned out there were 13 of us. All but one other, who was heading my way, were on the Rakiura Track, a continuation of the Great Walk. The North Arm Hut had been renovated for a week, and then Port William had been booked out by a school party for a couple of nights. It was a backlogue rather than a major influx of mid-winter trampers.
For some reason, the hut didn’t have an axe but I made use of a grubber on a pile of wood and we managed to get quite cozy.
One highlight of my day was that line I crossed when suddenly I was in the original forest, with major rimu trees around, rather than the kamahi dominated regeneration.
The other, four deer making themselves obvious on the lawn in front of the hut while still daylight, and then one coming back to manicure and fertilise it further.