Day 46: Richmond route start to Hunters Hut, 24 km

by Jane on Sunday, February 26, 2012 9:22 PM
The original plan was for Jane just to go to Red Hills hut today but after walking the road section the night before and being dropped back off at the start Jane was able to get a bit ahead of herself. Not only did Jane go past Red Hills hut but also Porters Creek Hut to stay at Hunters Hut - this hut built in 1997 was a memorial to two DoC staff who died when another hut was destroyed in a flash flood. Jane has left both her tent and bivvy bag behind for this section, the route is well endowed with huts, a maximum of 5 hours between each one, she is carrying her lightweight matteress and a survival bag just in case. Jane has destroyed my first pair of boots so he is now wearing my other spare pair, her gaiters are also had it (only 20 years old) but I didn't think to take up another pair - Jane has some rubbing on the backs of her legs which she has taped up to get through to Pelorous Bridge. We met another Te Araroa walker who is doing it in sections, he warned Jane of the wasps between Top and Mid Wairoa huts - his wife got stung 20 times.

Shane dropped me off at the beginning of the Richmond Forest Park track at 7am for a long day's walk. Flowering hebes were on the track as I walked into cloud before Red Hills Hut. Then after being welcomed into Marlborough yesterday I was back in Tasman/Nelson as I followed the beginnings of the Motueka for most of the day. It was many ups and downs with a heavy backpack, many river crossings, all nice and easy, with my feet staying dry in Shane's Goretex boots. I met a French couple, Flore and Ludovic on the way, and am in the hut with Dave from Hawaii, all doing the TAT. I had crackers, cheese and salami at Porters Creek Hut, painted rescue orange it looked very cute and welcoming. After 11 hours and 24 hard kms I arrived at Hunters Hut which commemorates 2 hunters drowned in a flash flood in the old hut in 1995. Beautifully situated with views all round, up to Mt Ellis where I go tomorrow and of the Red Hills. Lots of cloud around and the sun going down made for an ever-changing sky. Feel weary, in bed on 2 mattresses (new habit started last Friday as everyone else had 2) by 8;30pm. Such a warm evening Dave decided to sleep outside under the porch.
Dave is light weight tramping to the extreme, his tent is under 1kg, backpack about 40 litres, and he wears Tevas.
We were serenaded by billboards as the sun went down.

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Jane's Tramp on the South Island portion of the Te Araroa Trail in January/February 2011