Canterbury

TA Day 88, Hope Halfway Shelter to Hurunui No. 3 Hut, 36 km

Jumping for joy when the view opened up near the Hope River.
Jumping for joy when the view opened up near the Hope River.

The morning begins cloudy, chilly, but with no rain. I am up first, packed and ready to leave this over-stuffed hut. We plan another long day to make some space from these characters that arrived and took over late yesterday evening in the pouring rain.

Sure, it’s all ‘part of fabric’ of a thru-hike, but gee whiz, they were loud! Nine – or was it ten? – drenched backpackers storming the shelter just as we were quieting down to sleep.

One tom-boy with shaved head except for one long, thin braid, an elaborate sleeve of tattoos and pierced lip, gave a Tarzan yell out the door as her friends arrived. A prissy man struggled in front of all of us to get his chubby self into tight long long-johns.

Another young man looking like he’d rather model outdoor gear than be in the outdoors, complained his feet hurt and asked how he might get himself out of doing the hard bits ahead. All this I observe from my bunk since they gather in a circle on the floor, propane stoves fired up and heaps of nutella, cookies and candy shoved in their mouths.

It was easy tramping all day in mushy grass and manuka scrub.
It was easy tramping all day in mushy grass and manuka scrub.
A happy and somewhat blissful hiker leaving early from the crowded hut and walking alone through grassy plains framed by mountains.
A happy and somewhat blissful hiker leaving early from the crowded hut and walking alone through grassy plains framed by mountains.
Beautiful Lake Sumner through a screen of trees. The "overlook" was totally over-grown.
Beautiful Lake Sumner through a screen of trees. The “overlook” was totally over-grown.