Day 132 Just crossed the Southern Alps
Wednesday 19 February Hurinui Hut to just short of Locke Stream Hut Start 8.30am Finish 7.50pm Distance 23km Total 2,127km Steps 36,880 Elevation 600m climb, 500m descent Weather: cloudy and threatening rain to start then patches of sun It is hard to comprehend that I walked across the Southern Alps today. It was a relatively easy going climb through Harper Pass, although the descent was much steeper. The valley below was a lovely view, and it was weird that the rivers were now flowing in the opposite direction towards the West Coast. All in all I had an unexpected day. I have walked much further than anticipated. I arrived at the intended hut for tonight at 4.15pm. It seemed a little early, the hut was an unpleasant 2 bed affair and I still had some energy so I decided to head over the pass and camp along the tracked somewhere.
I had in my head that it is tomorrow that I do numerous river crossings. And I will be. However today was constant wet feet. I crossed dozens of rivers and streams. At times there were streams running down the tracks. There were other times the river has completely gouged out large parts of the track and the force and power of the river in flood is clearly evident. There are rocks wedged high up in the trees. Mind blowing. I think I'm in my element when the terrain is the most difficult. I enjoyed today much more than I expected. It also helped that my foot was no where near as painful as yesterday. May have been helped by the constant submersion in cold water.
Tomorrow I am a little apprehensive about. There is no trail. We just follow the river, crossing it dozens of times. I'm camping next to it now, and even at this point it is loud and fast flowing. That will no doubt increase as I head down stream as there are numerous tributaries. Motto for tomorrow is no undue risks. Just take it steady.
I have stopped short of the next hut for a couple of reasons. I was pretty knackered when I spotted this place to pitch my tent and it was already nearly 8pm, and secondly the hut has a reputation for having lots of rats. I have grown to love my little tent, so here I am, in the Southern Alps, having the time of my life.