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Day 50: Starveall Hut to Captain Creek Hut, 26 km
Thursday, March 01, 2012 11:41 PM
The guide said 16 hours for today (the other way), Jane managed it in just over 10 hours. We managed to talk in the morning before Jane left then again at lunch time as she crossed over into Totara saddle into the Pelorous catchment, she was feeling good and hoped to get to Middy Hut (we initially thought she might go to Roebuck hut) tonight, instead she's kept going all the way to Captain Creek Hut. The rain forecast looks a bit bleak overnight, so Jane's decision to go on means she doesn't need to worry about crossing the unbridged Captain Creek, the rain is expected to ease of and clear around mid morning. I will drive up and meet Jane somewhere along the Mangatapu Road.
Today was a pure fair dinkum bush walk with 2 Aussies to boot. Although it was downhill to a huge extreme there was so much sidling up and down ridges it was hard yakka. A mixture of sweat, close encounters with the bush, rocks, edges and tree roots, and incessant drizzle turning to rain in the afternoon meant by the end of the 12 hour day I felt very grimey. I travelled past 4 huts, Hackett, Browning, Roebuck, and Middy, all with the intention of getting past any potentially dangerous river crossings as rain and a storm tonight was expected….. which worked a treat. I thought I would never be this tramping fit ever again so spent all day going hard. Though, yes, a very long day, and my legs and toes certainly felt it, but at Captains Creek Hut by 7:15pm I was very satisfied and chuffed with myself, basically 2 days in 1, and an easy walk out tomorrow.
I met Paul from Bundaberg on his way to Hackett, and then on smelling woodsmoke before arriving at the hut, I intruded on Peter from Port McQuarrie. A lovely welcoming warm dry hut with a very hospitable tramper who generously offered to go outside (in the rain) when I wanted to change and have a hot tub! My bird bath had to suffice, ideally a hot tub would have been better for chafing.
After yesterday with tomtits watching me pass by in the stunted forest on the high ridges, today I had fantails chirpily join me for bits of the journey most of the way down the Roebuck and Pelorus Rivers. Added a smile to my face despite them observing a few trips and spills (I now have bruises to tell the story). There was also a wild pig which I scared away.
Nuts and chocolate for dinner and in bed before 9pm, oh what relief to have my body flat and my legs up.
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Jane's Tramp on the South Island portion of the Te Araroa Trail in January/February 2011
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