I had a really good day today. Covered a good distance and met a decent number of people. Listening to the rain on the roof though... Possible weather day tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.
So yeah, early start. I was packed and ready by 8. Hit the General Store on the way past and got a really good scone for breakfast. They were put out, fresh from the oven, while I was contemplating my options. The bacon and egg pie also ended up on the list, but became lunch.
On the way around the bottom of the lake I was over taken by Fred while looking at a display pointing out the mountains in the distance. Then I over took him while he was taking some photos. We eventually stopped at the same time for breakfast at the Gladstone Reserve. Fred has a few weeks off and had decided to do bits of the Te Araroa. So there is the potential for a trail mate for a while. Fred did mention that he had a damaged knee though so was going to take the Timaru Creek trail to Stody's Hut. I was taking the trail via Pakituhi hut which turned out to offer some fantastic views. The trail to Pakituhi Hut is 5km and climbs one kilometer vertically. Well, 900m vertically but there is the opportunity for decent views if you climb just a little from the spur towards Breast Hill.
Lunch at Pakituhi Hut was in the company of some local trampers who informed me that Stody's Hut was infested with mice. not the best news.
The 4WD track from Pakituhi Hut was a little longer than the Breast Hill track but an hour shorter so that was what I took in the end.
Along the way I met Matt Arbo and Seth Elliot. They're walking to raise funds to prevent slavery in Haite and details can be found at http://epicuncertainty.com. You should check out their site. Had a good chat with them on the trail before the wind chill forced us back to the walk to warm up. Good luck guys, not far to go now.
I arrived at the hut to find Rob and Debbie McColl already there. I knew of Rob and Debbie from the Te Araroa google group so it was cool to meet them in person at an over night stop instead of on the trail in passing. They started at Ship Cove at the same time I started at Bluff. Given that this has taken about a month and a half so far and, supposedly, the hardest stretch is behind me, I may actually be about half way to the top of the South Island.
it's dark outside now and while the mice have made an appearance there's been no sign of Fred. Hopefully he's camped up somewhere. Debbie was saying that of the 2 routes I probably had the easier one.