Pelorus Bridge to Middy Hut – 27km – (1821km total)
Today was spent following the Pelorus River. As I started walking around 7am I could already feel the heat in the air, it was going to be a hot day. A lot of the north island was humid hot, this is the first time this trip I remember feeling hot dry heat. Even the wind was hot.
The first 13km were along a gravel road, which thankfully was mostly in shade. The track then turned onto a tramping track that continued along the river, again thankfully in shade. However, it was still hot. Close to lunch time I came across an area on the river, with a picnic table and access to the river. So I went for a swim before having lunch. It was then 5km to the first hut, however at this point the trail became undulating with lots of rocks and roots, which really slowed progress. It was 2pm by the time I reached the first hut for another break from the heat.
It was only another 5km to the next hut and our finishing point for the day. Yet in the hot afternoon air, it was tough going and halfway through I ran out of water. Every stream I crossed was dry. This 5km was along a better track, but the heat slowed me this time. When I finally reached the hut. I grabbed water from the creek, then walked to the river and went for my second swim of the day and third swim in two days.
The sandflies at this hut are annoying so I spent the rest of the evening in long pants, shirt and socks, when I really wanted to be in shorts and a t-shirt. However, in the shade it was ok and better than 1000 sandfly bites. I really do question their role in the food chain!
Today I am thankful for rivers to swim in and cool off.