Becketts Hut, off TA route but running parallel (km2822) – Lower Wairaki hut (km2842.5)
The little hut was so perfect last night, it was hard to leave in the morning. My idea of a good hut is a small one, out of the way of big attractions, hard to get to, and a little rustic, yet tidy. A nice spot to escape to, where there aren’t other people for miles in any direction. This one met all the criteria. I feared another long bushwhack to rejoin the TA 6 km later, but it turned out that the 4WD track went all the way to the junction. Piece of cake. We had lunch at Aparima Hut, where we met up with Phil again. On the way to the next hut, I talked his ear off, asking about all the people behind us. He is the first person, besides Connor, to catch up from behind (that I know of). So he brought word of all the people I have met and passed.
Phil is from the North Island near Hamilton. He could only get 52 days off from work, so he is doing the South Island TA super fast. He is also one of the more ultralight trampers that I have met.
We were back in the forest again, which had areas that were very reminiscent of the North Island. There were tons of ferns. We got to Lower Wairaki hut around 5 pm. The sign said it took 6 hours to get to the next campsite, so we settled into the hut. It was identical to the one the night before, but with a water tank. Phil built a fire and we enjoyed yet another great night in a hut.