Day 37. Dec 11. Pahautea Hut to Kaimango Rd. 19km.
We were concerned that the guy who didn’t leave his bunk might have COVID. Sam left a COVID test kit and a note. I didn’t think he’d see it so I went up the ladder and asked him if he needed any help or food and straight out asked him if he had COVID. He said he was ok, just cold. Not a great place to be holed up, in a hut at the top of a mountain in bleak weather. Each to their own. I set off before the group of Justin, Sam, Talulah and Riorden who were a delight to be with, again choosing to walk solo. We assumed we would meet up that evening but it turned out later not to be so. Along the ridge from the hut was walked in cloud and drizzle. Then a long descent in the mud and rain. A great test of mental fortitude but I feel I’ve cracked it now. I just sink into it, finding ways to be present and not resentful of the slow going. The second half of the 7hr walk was on a gravel road, mostly raining, sometimes very heavy. A couple in a car stopped to chat when I was having lunch at the side of the quiet gravel road. From Vancouver, living only a short distance from where we used to live before NZ. Small world. Got to the trail angels place mid-afternoon and was really glad to be out of the rain. The accommodation was very basic but am enjoying the simplicity of the very basic. A hot shower, a loo and somewhere out of the rain is enough.