November 28, 2016
km traveled today: 17
total TA km: 1003 (one thousand mark!!)
Wow was this morning a cold one. We woke up in the crowded Bog Inn hut with our 5 new friends, and were the first to bundle up in our rain gear and brave the icy mist of the day. We tried to follow the trail that continued up past the hut, but unfortunately found that you do indeed have to return backwards up the trail to the original Bog Inn sign (approximately 1 km).
We walked through relative mud and bush, which wouldn’t have been too bad if it wasn’t so. crazy. cold. The bracing rain came down pretty heavily throughout the morning, and drove us through the woods towards the Waihaha hut with added vigor.
Very few breaks were taken throughout the day in order to stay warm. The rain did let up a bit, and we were able to walk in through the chilly wood with relative ease. Thankfully the wind died down upon our summit of Weraroa (~3,600 ft) so we didn’t have to scramble to layer up like on Pureora.
We stumbled upon a nice camping area before the hut at around km 994, that had room for a tent or two and a fire area (a few more nice grassy spots throughout the day as well).
Shortly after that we reached our thousandth kilometer! Whoo!! The trail weaved tediously up and down until we finally reached the beautiful Waihaha hut, which was much more new and furnished in comparison to Bog Inn (not to say that Bog Inn didn’t have its charm).
The hut even had a saw provided, which proved to be fantastic for readying wood for the old stove. Not 15 minutes after we arrived at the hut, a large school group arrived and began setting up tents on the grass in front of the hut. Then a duo of two older women showed up, along with our friends from Bog Inn.
The hut ended up being quite crowded, but we were able to make a pretty rippin’ fire, so everyone was super cozy (thank you DOC for the saw). We played a couple of games of Hearts (I’m trailing miserably) cooked up some couscous, and read our kindles before we curled up on the floor (all 10 beds occupied) and faded into sleep with the gentle roar of the fire bellowing in the stove.