Day 35: Hurunui No. 3 hut to Hope-Kiwi Cottage

Today was a trying day. It was going to be a long day no matter what, but some things added to the frustration.

First off, there was a hot spring along the route which was highly recommended by a lot of people to go have a rest in. I totally could have used this. Sadly, I never saw the sign to turn off to it. There was a place where the forest section went down to the river bed and then the trail disappeared, so I kept going along there and never found the trail. I had to backtrack a bit until I found a small trail to take me back up. But because of this I missed a bit of the forest, and perhaps the turnoff for the trail.

I did see a hot spring at the top of a waterfall, but since I hadn’t seen any indication that it was the one I was after, and didn’t see any obvious way to get up to it, I assumed it was just a different one than the one I was looking for. So no hot spring for me today.

Next up I’d heard about a forest section ahead that was particularly hard because of storm damage and I’d be better off going along the tree line. So I did. And the trail ran out. There was a little trail leading up a hill but it didn’t seem at all reasonable. I tried a couple of other ways but all ended in terribleness. Eventually I went back up the first bit and ended up bushwhacking through fallen trees, dead branches, all sorts of nastiness, for about 30 minutes trying to get back to the trail. I eventually did though and things went a lot better from there.

Until I caught my foot on a branch. It would have been fine. I stub my toes on things all the time, I stumble a bit and keep going. This time though the branch decided to follow my foot, meaning it wasn’t going to let me go without a fight. It won. I ended up face first on the ground. I felt like just staying right there.

Eventually though I ended up at the hut. It’s huge. And super fancy. And as far as I can tell, rat free. Though the sand fly situation is pretty awful. Fortunately it’s not too hot so the fact that we can’t open any windows isn’t that big of a deal.


I had a nice meal for dinner. Pretty happy about that. If it rains tomorrow I may just stay here. I have plenty of food, and this place is pretty swank. I’ll try to get some pictures in the morning.

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