Start: Harper Campsite
Finish: Hamilton Hut
Distance: 19km

Spoiler alert: today was an awesome day!

We packed up our stuff and said goodbye to Kat who left well before us before heading along the gravel road.

We then came to a large orange triangle on a wooden fence, pointing over a bank onto the riverbed, which was odd considering the DoC sign was pointing down a private road.

We decided to follow the markers and soon after climbing the fence we saw Kat walking back towards us. She said that the markers had stopped so she had turned around.

After consulting the map we followed a marker-less 4WD track and soon got lost in conversation.

We crossed streams and the river a few times, and laughed about Jacqui’s interesting outfit of the day and after 3 hours we had already smashed out 11km.

It’s amazing how when you don’t count the kilometres and just enjoy it, they seem to go way faster. We passed the Pinnacles and enjoyed a short forest section before coming to the 20 bunk Hamilton Hut just after 1pm.

We tried to enjoy sitting outside but the sandflies soon found us.

If I had one negative comment about the whole TA so far it would be the sandflies. You get to these beautiful areas at the end of the day and want so badly to sit outside and enjoy the sun and the views but the sandflies hound you.

So we retreated indoors and I had a quick nap before chatting to the 5 non-TAers about our adventure.

It’s so easy to forget how incredible this journey actually is. Most of the time we are chatting to other TAers, so doing the TA seems like nothing out of the ordinary but then we meet people who aren’t doing it and they’re gobsmacked and inspired and we’re reminded just how cool it is that we’re doing this. Yes we are amazing, yes we are strong and resilient, thanks for reminding us.

We stayed up quite late chatting but it is an easy-ish day tomorrow so don’t need to get up too early. I cannot believe I’ll be in Arthur’s Pass tomorrow!