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Day 116 Swimming in Waterfalls 

Monday 3 February Tarn Hut to Upper Wairoa Hut Start 7.30am Finish Between 4pm and 5pm I think Distance 14km Total 1,896km

Steps 24,421 Elevation: Up approx 800m and down about the same. Weather: Sunny A day of slightly less arduous terrain, mostly undulating with the usual tree roots and rock climbing. Today did have the added benefit of a river. A beautiful, crystal clear one, with lots of waterfalls. My family know I love waterfalls. A bit obsessive really. So swimming in waterfalls was the theme of today. I just jump in, clothes and all. Saves getting mauled by the sandflies when you get out and there is the added bonus of getting your clothes washed at the same time.

Anyway, three swims today. There were more and bigger waterfalls but they were inaccessible or much later in the day. Again thank you Chad for indulging my eccentricities. He hadn't heard of the notion of fully clothed swimming. Luckily we have met the last couple of days this amazing local NZ woman (Willie) who is tramping a few of the peaks in the ranges, and she does the same as me in terms of swimming fully clothed and for the same reasons. So I'm not so strange. Or the two of us are equally weird!

Doing my washing (rinse cycle)

We arrived at the hut, a 6 bed one, and that made five of us. Then arrived 4-5 more, all talking about fitting into the hut. Willie decided to tent, then so did Chad and I. Way too many people for my liking. Too much noise and way too much body heat in such a small space.

I am trying very hard, but not very successfully, to not make judgments about how others do this trail. So I will limit myself to one snarly comment - why tramp such massive days (most of the late comers did in one day what Chad and I did in two), if you don't have time to stop and enjoy the surroundings you are racing through? I don't see the point. I don't know why it is bothering me so grumble over. (Reflective note: The following day when I was thinking about my grumpiness I realised how others were hiking wasn't what had got up my nose - it was the assumption that we would all fit into the hut somehow, and that there appeared to be no thought that the late comers should be putting up their tents instead. The weather was fine and there were tent sites, they just felt too tired to do so. Not my problem, that had been their choice to tramp so far in a day, but it became my problem. Never mind, attitude readjusted, and I will replace my thoughts with floating in the stream with a smile on my face.)

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