Day 34: Locke Stream hut to Hurunui Hut No. 3


No, really. Rats. They didn’t get into my food because I hung it up but they were all over the counter and table and everything else all night. Little turds everywhere. Gross. They also stole my bar of soap. I didn’t know rats ate soap. Now I do.

I decided to just have a bar for breakfast rather than try to cook anything. This also had the benefit of getting me out the door a bit quicker than I otherwise might have. It had rained most of the night and seemed to have stopped but who knew how long that might last. Out the door I went.

Nothing to eventful until the summit over Harper Pass. Nice view from the top though.

Along the way I was making friends with these little birds who seemed to be curious about me. I was trying to get one to perch on my finger but they wouldn’t. But they would circle around me and look at me trying to figure me out. This was nice a bit later because I walked under a low tree branch and absolutely clocked myself. So hard I feel like every bone in my neck cracked. It knocked me flat on the ground and I just laid there for a few minutes recovering from the shock of it all. One of those little birds came up to check on me and see if I was ok. It still wouldn’t perch on my finger but it did perch on my trekking pole. Hooray!

Didn’t get a picture of it actually on the pole because it’s like a cat, any time they’re doing something cute you don’t have your camera ready.

I passed a couple more huts along the way, stopped in and had a little break at one before heading on. About halfway between the last 2 huts I encountered my first 3 wire bridge.

These are a lot like swing bridges but instead of having a place to put your feet there’s just another wire. And this thing swings around all over the place. Slowly but surely I made my way across. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit worried until I got safely to the other side. I probably could have just gone through the river, but despite the scariness, this was probably a safer bet.

Tonight’s hut is much nicer, hopefully with less rats. It also has a wood burning heater and lots of firewood. It’s nice and toasty in here right now. I’m not alone, but it’s just me and a German southbounder, in this 16 person hut. He was one of a big group that had gotten backed up at St. Arnaud because of the cyclone. Telling me about how they’d be in 32 bed huts and totally full. But I think this means I’m about half way through that group and that’s probably the last of the big pack of southbounders. With that and the large huts coming on the next section I feel like I shouldn’t have much trouble getting a bed at huts anymore. Phew! Still going to take my tent and such though, just in case.

Tomorrow I’ll make a push to get to Hope-Kiwi Lodge and then it should be a short day from there to get to the highway and hitch a ride into Hanmer Springs. I don’t feel like I really need a rest day just yet but I have a big resupply and a big food box (10 days!) to send off, as well as wanting to check out the town and such, so I plan to have a zero day there. Hopefully I can find a bed!

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