Dec 22 day 113 Martin Hut to Colec Bay Campground 7:45-4:15 30 km
Every thing I did today was with a sense of an ending. I knew Martin would be the last hut I stayed in on this trek, as was the descent off the mountain through the forest. The first kilometer was just like yesterday’s, really rough with a lot of downed trees, but after the shift to the Ports water race, it got interesting (at least for a while). This area was a big 19th century gold mining region, and the water race is a 20+ km path beside a ditch for sluicing gold. What stood out were the trees– Rimu and Totaru growing in profusion. There were massive trees, long since fallen, slowly rotting away but straddled by new trees growing up out of the rot. The riot of growth was breathtaking. Parts of the trail passed derelict machinery, old mine shafts, and the remnants of timber-framed aqueducts that carried the sluices over stream ditches. Then it wound down to the bay which marks the end of land. I made my way to Colec Bay campground, did laundry, had good meal in tavern (actually two, remain completely ravenous), trying to decide how far to trek tomorrow.