21 December,  Te Araroa 81

Rock Hut 1840km to Slaty hut 1861km (21km)

Another early start at 7:15 leaving behind the hut that became full very quickly last night and now quilt with everyone still sleeping.  The beagle dog I sore the previous day was tired up outside under the veranda and when I gave it a pat with a hot coffee in my hand, it was shivering with the cold.

The track starting first thing this morning

I sent off my texts to everyone to let them know I’m ok and still on the trail and phoned Eunhwa to make sure that she is Ok before she is due to fly out latter this evening to South Korea.  We couldn’t change the dates of the ticket as I had purchased them via my FF points saving 1,500 dollars each ticket so instead we had to buy a new one way ticket which was about 1,200 dollars.

I arrived at Hocket hut feeling tired and in need for food and water.  There were two hunters there relaxing in the sun with their dogs; they hadn’t had any luck as yet.  One of them as training and learning the skills to hunt and wanting to do it for a living saying the outdoor life was a life style he wanted.  After I finished my boil in the bag Korean food, I carried on with the plan to reach the next hut for the night.  Just only 100 meters from the hut I left behind with the hunters and around the bend, there was a dear in the middle of my path, I stopped and just watch.  At first the dear didn’t see me but then I moved and made such a quilt sound and its ears picked me up.  It danced about trying to find where the sound come from and then it spotted me and t it disappeared up the hill into the bushes.

You can see the deer next to the far orange  marker

It was a long day for me, the final part of the day was a climb and at the top I had great views where I just sat and relaxed for half an hour and enjoyed the views before  the last 45 minute walk to my new home for the night.