No one got a good night’s sleep last night. A few inconsiderate hut-mates had me in a near rage in the early hours of the morning, having spent the last couple of hours repeatedly blinded by their headtorches shining in my direction, and now wondering what on earth they were banging around the kitchen for at 4am. I think I got an hour’s sleep before one of their phone alarms rang at 6, and the owner was unable to locate it to turn it off for a good couple of minutes.
The morning was spent getting ready quickly with a grumpy expression, and handing the offenders item after item they had left in the bedroom. After quick review of plans and a goodbye, I headed north along the river solo, my sour mood slowly improving over the first hour.
After following the river for a few hours I arrived at the Lagoon Saddle Shelter, a cute A-frame with no bunks but two mattresses. I had lunch, and since I had arrived two hours earlier than I had predicted, it was time for a nap. When I woke up, my feet were frozen and I could see my breath in front of me. Unable to get warm, I made a second lunch of instant mashed potato and packet gravy , a meal that turned my day around and changed my life overall.
On the trail again, I climbed to the saddle and was immediately greeted by expansive views of Arthur’s Pass and the Waimakariri River.
The following hour was spent trudging through knee deep mud to reach a pine forest, and then quickly descending to Bealey Hut where Reuben was waiting for me.
A quick drive down the road, and I checked into a backpackers at Arthur’s Pass. Even though it had only been three days since I had been in civilisation, the warm and dry backpackers was heavenly!