92 km through the Kawekas

92km through the Kawekas ...

This was one of my better trips .
We started at the top of the Kaimanewas and walked out the bottom of the kawekas . [we came out of the mountains to find out there had been the tsunami to give an idea of the time .]
My mate from Taihape is known for his fitness so I knew he wouldn't hold me up . BUT : he took his dog , hunting rifle , dog food .... and told me he wasn't going to eat dry food , he was going to eat 'luxuries' like steak and bacon and eggs .......
I looked at the map , added up the distances and said to him " Do you realize we will be walking 92km ?" . He said " whatever , it will just make us fit" .
This time I managed to narrow my pack down to 18kg for 5 days when I usually have a 25kg pack for two days !
This was one of the better pano's from my old Panasonic DMC-LC5

Jess just had to be carrying something , wherever we went . She had the luxury of being able to spit it out though when she got tired .

Hey Matt ! That pack looks a bit big there - why can't you keep up ?

I carried my camera in that tupperware container . I had twisted my knee 'training ' , I climbed Mount Maunganui in 11 1/2 minutes and came back down in 7 1/2 minutes which resulted in me having to strap my knee for the trip .

walking through the mist ....

These New Zealanders seem to be nutters , look at the knife he had !

Cascade hut was 17km from the drop-off point . He said "I've brought too much stuff !" - and proceeded to cook 6 steaks , we each ate what we could and the dog ate the rest .

This hut had all the luxuries ....

but we had to get moving , and this is when things got interesting .

The track was not easy and the 'bridges' were slippery .

Now my knee was hurting a bit and we had two options ... go over the 7 hour ridge track or cut though the 'flat land' .
The problem was that the flat land was private property and we never had permits . We worked our way down next to the river and stopped for lunch when we were back in doc land

Then this guy in a high-vis jacket , carrying a briefcase confronts us and tells us we are on private land . According to the map we weren't but he told us the map is wrong . [ someone had seen us earlier ] .
Anyway , to cut a long story short he told us he doesn't like issuing trespass notices because he used to poach the land before he got that job and he would tell them my knee was injured [ I told him it was bandaged and we had taken this route because it was hurting ] which would give us legal right to cross the land , and my mate got a trespass notice because he had the rifle . he phoned when we got back and was let off .

When we saw the hut we were headed for up the hill next to us we decided that since we had some time on our hands we would move on ....

and after about 26km of walking we reached this hut .

We had seen some good scenery on the way

The hut had a nice 'front yard '

with a view of Ruapehu

It's a lot to remember but this was the hut we stayed in on the third night . By this stage we had walked 60 km

100m before the hut we saw some deer standing in front of us but Matt said he was too tired to skin them so we just kept walking until they ran off .
We decided we had taken on too much and the next day we would walk 8km down to the river and camp there and 'relax' .

At one point on our way down there were sharp rocks and Matt had to carry Jess because she couldn't walk across them . He never carried water while I carried two bottles , one for me and one for the dog and she welcomed it when I squirted a bottle into her mouth after walking hard for a few hours .
I don't think that dog knew how much rest to get - we would pass out when we got down to the river , she would walk right into it , lie down for 30m seconds and then go and get a stick for me to throw for her . When I just lay still she would pick it up and drop it on my head . When I threw it far enough to wash down the river she would dive under water and bring back a rock and drop it on my head ! When I threw the rock into a deep pool she would dive down and fetch it ! I think she was actually an otterX or something

Oh yes , I had bought some new socks and they were too big and kept bunching up around my ankles which eventually turned purple and hurt a bit so I cut the sides of my boots to ease the pain .....

But anyway we got to the bottom and crossed this 'bridge'

made a shelter ....

and 'relaxed '.

and the next morning we crossed back over on that 'thing '

day 5 involved climbing 700m up a slope , I had my ' altitude ' watch and kept reporting our progress " we've climbed 300m , 400 to go " , "we just went down 100m , we have 500 to go " we gained 200m but lost another 50" .... and that's when he said "would you mind keeping that to yourself !" .

Please can I have some !

That's the hut we were headed for ....

and a rather uneventful walk to the end of the track while we waited to be picked up .....

3 days later I could almost walk properly again !