I woke at 0800 and finished my blog updates before packing. After checking out I walked to the Post Office to mail home my full gaiters now I am through the worst of the tussock bashing and spiky Spaniards. I met a German TA Northbounder who said a Belgium couple had left an hour ago so I will likely have company at the hut.
I started back on the trail at 1015 and walked around the lakefront to the Glendhu Track. This was a shared mountain bike/walker track around the lake edge for 14 km to Glendhu Bay.
I was taking it easy as my legs were a little sore adjusting to the new inner soles. The outside of my upper to mid shins were hurting. I stretched regularly and took several breaks. It was a lovely track and great views walking beside the lake looking at the mountains with their fresh snow from the cold snap over the last 4 days. It started off cold but the heat of the sun soon overcame the cool breeze.
At 1230 I arrived at the Glendhu Campground and had an ice cream and a break. This is a huge campground nearly a km long. It was amazing to see some of the camp setups. They were definitely not roughing it.
At the end of the campground I climbed over the gate and walked 2 km up Motatapu Rd to the start of the track. The wind had disappeared so it was now getting really hot.
This track was put in by Shania Twain, the singer, as a condition of the sale of the land to a foreigner. The track started out flat following the river up and after 2 km I passed the 2600 km mark.
It then went through a patch of bush for 1.5km and it was nice to be in the shade. I had a late lunch of a savoury scroll at the start of the bush. The track through the bush started sidling on a nicely benched track and then started climbing.
At the bush edge the track was overgrown and from here it got more difficult. The track sidled above the stream but went up and down constantly and steep ups and downs. It continued to be overgrown making it hard to see what was under my feet and I was stumbling a few times. There were some exposed bits and I had to concentrate. After a couple of km of this there was a final climb up, down to the stream where I refilled my water bottles and then the last climb to the hut.
The Belgium couple, Jolein and Willem were there with a German NOBO and a Canadian couple who come to NZ every year for 4 months to tramp and avoid their winter.
We had good conversation at dinner with the focus being on the good and different things in NZ which I love hearing about from tourists. Just as we were going to bed another person turned up but didn't speak as he saw some were already asleep.