Day 13: Aparima Hut to Lower Princhester Hut

Today was a really tough day. I didn’t really consider quitting, but there were times I wanted to.

I woke up with no energy, my throat sore and my sinuses blocked, and my stomach unhappy. I had my porridge and coffee and got moving. The trail began with a nice stroll in a flat valley between mountains. Around 2km in, I took an accidental 6km detour. It was my fault – I didn’t check my own map and made assumptions from information on a doc sign. I definitely wasn’t operating in top form.

Lots of skulls on this track…

Once back on track, six hours of navigating through boggy marshes full of waist deep holes ensued. The wind picked up and the head-height grass whipped my face. I really wished I hadn’t lost my sunglasses two days before.

The track led into the forest then, and climbed up a muddy hill to a saddle. I was grateful to reach the saddle, because I knew the hut was only 2km down the other side. It took two hours to get there still, because that side of the hill was covered in slips, some of them clearly recent. In my tired state, navigating around these slips on a steep, muddy, and windy hillside was scary and used up my remaining energy. I reached the hut to find only one occupant, and an empty bunk waiting for me!

Knowing I would be in Te Anau the next day, I cooked up two of my last meals for dinner, and surprised myself with the ease in which I gobbled it all up.

After finding a suitable place to hang my food (there are definitely mice in this hut) I’ll be off to bed. I’m looking forward to the next two days of resting, eating, and being inside!

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