Thurs 2 February 2017
- Km today: 29
- Total Km: 252
Cathy gave me a lift from the farm house to the road which leads into the Mavora Lakes. It was a sad goodbye but soon enough I was striking out along the gravel road with sunshine, some cloud and a very pleasant breeze. I felt wonderfully re-energised from the people I had met in Te Anau and looking forward to cracking on with the walk. The road followed the Mararoa river but I had heard that the river track is a nightmare so most TA’s are walking the road. It is slippery with didimo and all together unpleasant. The river was up and running in flood so not a good idea anyway. The land on either side was in agriculture; deer, sheep and cattle. For the most part I kept a good pace as it was a flat and straight road. After a couple of hours I could see someone approaching. A shimmering figure far down the road who slowly got more and more distinct as we got closer. Tim was from the States and travelling with a little group who were somewhere behind. He had forded the river whilst the others had used the swingbridge. He suggest that I would be fine going across the river too, but no way was I going to get wet again. We had the usual quick exchange of TA relevant information; where we had come from, where heading to, track conditions, suggestions, gear. All covered succinctly in a matter of minutes. We’re like ants or bees when they communicate food information. Bzzz bzzz okay all done See ya and you’re off again. It was an hour later when I passed the next member of Tim’s party, only a quick exchange needed this time. And then 20mins later the tail end charlies bzzzz
The track to Kiwi Burn hut was on the other side of the river a day fortunately there is a swingbridge to get across. The water was high and flowing at great speed and volume underneath. Always worth a picture. The track double backed along the river for a while and then opened onto grassland and a little tussock. The hut came into sight. Perched on the balcony was Thomas and his dog Mana. Thomas is a fire-fighter from southern Germany who comes to Te Anau each year for fishing and hunting. Soon him and dog departed from a reccie. I made good with firewood for the pot belly stove and pottered about making some dinner. Shaun had given me some whitebait which I had unthawed in the top of my pack during the walk today. Being the ultimate host he had also kitted me out with white bread, butter and lemon. Now it was my turn to do the whitebait justice in a titanium pot over a wood burning stove. I’ll leave the picture below so you can decide. Yum!
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