Nov 20 day 81 Boyle Village (Reefton) to Kiwi Hope Hut 10:45-5:30 25 km
In the middle of the night the rain started–I could hear it on the motel’s metal roof. I woke at six, but the bus to Boyle Village did not leave until 9:00. I watched the news and drank all the complementary instant coffee, then ventured out to find breakfast. None of the likely cafes were open, so I sat by the Spark free wifi for a while updating my blog and answering email. When it became clear the cafe I had hope to go to was not going to open, I went back to the motel and ate in their restaurant (the only customer they had). The bus back up the mountain was in the pouring rain, but it lightened a bit when we crossed Lewis Pass. Picked up my food at the outdoor center–pack is as heavy as it will ever be– and headed down the road to windy point, the entry area for when the river is too high to ford. A long, uneventful road walk, had lunch in the bus shelter where I met some nice hikers just finishing a week out. They are from the Victoria University tramping club, and I gave them contact info so maybe we can arrange a talk about the TA. Then I plunged into the bush for the next 16 km to Kiwi Hope hut. Very wet and rainy walk, much beside a very rain swollen river. They really get high and wild with enough rain, and the trail went vey close o the torrent often. Arrived at the hut and met Alex and Courtney who I have been trailing for some time now. Very good conversation and stayed up a little late.