Princhester Rd to Aparima Hut – 22km (2784km total)
It was a nice start to the morning being in town. I slept in a little bit before packing up to leave. The others were not leaving until after lunch and then doing a 6km day to the first hut. I however have the end in sight. It is now only about 8 days until Bluff, so I was keen to hike out in the morning and see if I could get to the second hut. The best laid plans…
I had breakfast, bought a chai and then went to try and hitch with J but it took us forever to get a hitch. It was after 12pm by the time we were dropped off at the start of this section. I said goodbye to J who was attempting to get another hitch to get around this section as he didn’t want to do the two farm days that are coming up.
The walk to the first hut was nice and easy along a gravel road. I stopped at the hut for lunch before pressing on. The section to the next hut was 17km but said to take anywhere from 5-8hours, so I didn’t know if I would be able to make it the entire way and thought I might have to camp. It was slow going at points over rocks and roots in the forest and then when out in the tussock, it was wet and marshy under foot and a few times I sunk calf deep into mud hidden in the tussock. It is just preparing me for long wood forest in 4 days. This trail ends as it started, with a mud pit of a forest, Long Beach walks and long road walks. Yet I am surprisingly looking forward to it.
I made it to the hut just after 7pm but had few breaks to pull that off.
Today, I am thankful for track that doesn’t take as long as predicted.