SH7 (km2104) – Hope Kiwi lodge (km2120.5)
The gravitational pull of town was hard to break away from. I woke around 6 am feeling hungry. I ate some from my resupply but then went to a cafe for a meat pie and cream bun. Both tasted highly caloric, so I was pleased. I went back and took a shower and did some other chores. Suddenly it was already 10 am. I needed to blow this joint.
Tuomas, Anna and I set out. Dan, Tom and Sam stayed for another day. We walked for a little over 1 km outside of town looking for a ride. Then a car pulled over and we couldn’t believe our eyes, it was Dan and Jan, the two Brits that gave us a ride into town. They were going our way, so we got a ride all the way to the trailhead. What luck!
We picked up the trail 9km down from where we left off. The connector trail follows the highway and there are several river crossings. I went with the flow of the group, as I wasn’t keen on doing the crossings alone.
The trail started as mostly forested but involved some of my favorite open grassy valley walking too. It was a short half-day of walking to the 2nd hut along the valley. I was feeling very lethargic after the town. I even started nodding off during the ride to the trailhead.
The trail was thankfully pretty easy. Except that with less than 1 km to go to Hope Kiwi Lodge, we came to an area with extensive deadfall. It looked like a tornado had swept the area.
We struggled to make our way through the mess for about 20 minutes. It was pretty bad. Many notes in the hut book reflected people’s displeasure with it. Hopefully the trail can be cleared in the near future.
Arriving the hut, I was surprised to find that it was bigger than my own house. In fact, it was a former private house. There were several bedrooms with bunks and a huge dining and living area, also with bunks. I don’t remember what the described capacity was but it could hold 40 people easily. There were a total of 7 of us.
We met the two Kiwi guys (both ex Swiss and German). There were also Germans Vito and Bertram. The Finns and I shared a room. Another great night’s sleep in a hut!