Princhester Road to Aparima Hut – 23kms
Total – 1110kms
The weather forecast for today showed some rain in the morning and clearing in the afternoon. I have two days through the Takitimu forest. By the time I reached the end of Princhester Road I was wet through. I stopped at Princhester hut before going into the bush and climb to the saddle. I had an early lunch knowing I probably won’t stop in the wet and planned to push through to Aparima Hut in five hours. I had to keep moving to stay warm.
The trail took me in and out of bush and boggy tussock areas. The rain did not stop and only got heavier for the remainder of the day. My rain jacket and pants were doing nothing to keep me dry but they do help to keep body warmth in. There was plenty of mud in this section and deep in places. Sometimes my legs would sink up to my knee. I fell over a few times trying to push through the tussock and slipping in the mud. I slid down a clay bank too when my feet came out from under me. I could feel my lower back starting to hurt from all of that and having a heavier pack than usual didn’t help.
It felt like the day was taking so long because I was so keen to get to the hut. I could see fresh boot prints in places so knew there were people ahead. The hut is only a six bed so hoped it wouldn’t be full. As I got close I could smell the fire going from the hut. When I saw the hut I straight away noticed there were six pairs of boots outside. The people inside were really nice and made room for me so I was very grateful for that. We were packed in like sardines though. It was very warm and a few of the older guys decided to go and sleep next door in the old derelict hut. That freed up plenty of space in the tiny hut. Two more arrived later and squeezed in.
I only took one photo in the morning when I started on Princhester road and one the next morning of the hut when I left.