Start: Hurunui No.3 Hut
Finish: Hope Kiwi Lodge
Distance: 28km

Today was long but beautiful.

From the hut we decided to follow the advice of other walkers and walk through the flat valley instead of following the actual trail. We followed animal tracks through the tussock, making our own way when the tracks disappeared.

The next 12km passed quickly, we passed a lot of Canadian Geese who definitely ruined the peacefulness of the valley, but other than that the hours were uneventful, even my mind was empty. Although I did start singing ‘Old McDonald’ when we saw the cattle in the distance.

We then came close to Lake Sumner after a short stint through the forest.

From here it was a pleasant walk through the forest, with friendly Robins coming to say hi and numerous other birds calling.

I feel like I should take some time to emphasise that while I say it was a pleasant walk it is still hard work. It was a really hot day and because we were walking through forest it was quite humid. So when we started to climb up to Kiwi Saddle the sweat really started dripping off me, and I don’t mean just a little bit of sweat, I mean it was literally dripping off my nose, off my chin, off my fingers. I was sweating from head to toe, my ears were sweating, my belly button was sweating. I was absolutely drenched.

Once we reached the top it was an easy couple of KMs down before emerging into a huge open field in the middle of the valley. After a few minutes I spied the hut way off in the distance, the only issue is that we seemed to be walking away from it.

The track zig-zagged us across the valley and by the time we came to the hut we were both tired and sore, which you can expect on a 28km day.

As we were taking our boots off who walked out to say hi? Jeremy! We’d caught up to him!

We chatted to him and sorted out our stuff and then chilled in this flash hut. Out to Boyle and hopefully Hanmer tomorrow.