Andrew and Peter slept outside the hut last night.
Six of us filled the bunks inside.
Us. Sobos: Alexis et Justin a France. Johannes und Andreas von Deutschland.
When we'd come up alongside the Manuka Range yesterday we'd joked that there wasn't actually any Manuka on it anymore.
On closer inspection the next day, we found that Manuka is on its way back to the range with a vengeance. The Matagori has acted like a nursery plant for the bigger trees.
A Kerearea hunted in the valley as we ate our breakfast. A Grey Warbler warbled.
It'll be a good place to visit in 50 years.
The next hut, Double Hut, is only seven kilometres up the valley. We figured we'd earned an easy day after yesterday's effort so took off after a very slow morning.
We walked past Manuka Lake. Empty.
Then Seagull Lake. Les than a puddle.
Believe the news stories. There is a drought around here.
It only took an hour and a half to complete the day's journey. But we were exhausted by the time we got in...at noon.
We had no juice left.
The hut is another musterers hut with history. Beside the bunk Whiona has claimed is some graffiti.
Taggers! They should all be hung!
In 1951, Ed Hillary stayed here on what he called a training run up the mountain that towers behind and above Double Hut, Mount Taylor.
We know this because he scrawled his name, the date and his intentions in pencil on the wall by Whiona's bed.
Ed was a tagger...along with a few hundred other farm workers, trampers and hunters that have stayed in the hut over the years
Our trailmates P and A arrived. We all snoozed, wrote, ate and drank the cool water that bubbled from a large pipe that came out of the hillside.
An explore up the valley beside the hut revealed a mountain valley that reminded us of Spaghetti Westerns. Or Star Wars. As we washed, Indians and aliens didn't plan an ambush.
The four of us talked into the night and made plans for our travels up the line.
Food is starting to become a big part of our conversations. Andrew and Peter are hanging out for burgers at Methven...our next chance to get civilised.
I have a hankering for...anything that contains calories.
According to the Te Araroa Telegraph there is some bad weather brewing.