March 2, 2017
km traveled today: 24
total TA km: 2700
This morning we checked out of the lakefront YHA in Queenstown, ending our stay in that wonderful city. At approximately 9am, we started trying to hitch our way around lake Wakatipu toward Glenorchy, which took around an hour for us to get picked up.
We were dropped off at a junction where one road went off towards the Routeburn track and the other towards Kinloch and the trailhead. We waited for well over an hour at this junction, with little traffic. The few cars we did see turned off towards the Routeburn.
Eventually, a huge van filled with about 7 tourists drove by, and had 5 extra seats (HUGE van). Very lucky for us. A few minutes later, we picked up Johannes. He grabbed the last seat. The tourists very kindly drove us directly to the trailhead, where we started walking at ~1pm. Pretty much the whole day was gorgeous, wide, clear track, varying only subtly and occasionally in elevation, a drastic change from our past week of trail.
At our first big swing bridge we pulled over for a late and very buggy lunch.
Not long after lunch, Will came to the terrible realization that he didn’t have his phone. We ran up the trail a ways and left a note in the hope that if his phone is found it he may see it again. If he loses his wallet, he’ll have achieved the “Phone, Passport, Wallet Triple Crown”. Fingers crossed he doesn’t.
We continued down the lovely trail for quite a while, sweating our way through the hot day, and only briefly stopping by the Greenstone hut. It felt good to be pushing on, plus Greenstone hut seemed quite busy.
At around 5:45-6pm the trail turned from wide forest trail to a kinda marshy tussock walk in the open.
Beautiful mountains surrounding, but the trail was hard to follow and getting our feet muddy and wet so late in the day was a huge bummer. Finally, at 6:45, we arrived at the scenically located Taipo Hut, where there are four large mattresses that are meant to be shared by 8 people. Only one other gentleman here with us. No water at hut, stream access is really nice though.
Had a nice pesto dinner, and we’re all getting ready for bed. Unfortunately, this hut seems to have a pretty serious mice problem, and we can here them squeaking and skittering around in the walls. I’ll be putting my earbuds in and attempting to konk out to some music. Rain forecasted for tomorrow.