Day 35 – Rakaia River to Comyns Hut

Rakaia River to Comyns Hut – 16kms

Total – 565kms

Scott and Jane arrived at 7.30am and dad drove us up the southern side of the Rakaia River to the trail head at Double Hill. The track followed the Glenrock stream and then up and over Turton Saddle. I enjoyed the big climb up to the saddle, getting the heart pumping and lungs open after mostly flat walking for the past few days.

We arrived at A-frame hut just before lunch which was in a sheltered position out of the wind. The weather is good but there is still a strong and cool breeze coming up the valley. We sat and had our lunch and I made a coffee too. I have added coffee, milo and biscuits to my food rations for this section. Normally I just have green tea. We looked at our maps and discussed the best way to break up the next three days to the Rangitata River. We decided to stay at Comyns Hut tonight, which is only a couple of hours away, then do a 9-10 hour day tomorrow and make the third day a short one so we have all afternoon to drive around to the other side of Rangitata River and be there at a reasonable hour. Or drive in to Geraldine for the night and get dropped off early the next morning. Either way it is at least three hours drive around from the terminus to the trail head on the other side.

The views today were impressive coming over the saddle and looking back at the Rakaia and then descending down into the valley. The track was another 4wd one and easy to follow. We crossed Turtons stream four times on the way down to Comyns Hut. It is definitely one of the roughest looking huts I have been in but still pretty cosy and has the stream running beside it for water.

Ricky turned up at 3pm. He had started at Boyle a few days after us and caught up today. He does big days and did not stop here for the night either.

I had an afternoon nap on my bunk bed before we started preparing our dinners. I had packed three cans of beer for us as a treat for the first night and they went down well with our meals.

We all heard some rustling and scratching not long after we went to bed for the night. Then a crash and bang that sounded like something came down the chimney and into the fireplace. I retreated further into my sleeping bag. Jane investigated with her torch but did not see anything so I went back to sleep. All our food bags were hanging off a wire so didn’t have to worry about that. These backcountry huts are often infested.

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