Monday 21st April – an unknown admirer

Woke early to the sound of trampers on the move. Went into the main hut and talked to the girls and they were still keen to walk out with me.

At 8am I radioed North Egmont to find out about the weather/river situation. It was still the same as yesterday so people set out with their fingers crossed the water level would be low/safe enough to cross.

The rest of us had an easy morning while I tidied up, did my checks around the hut before packing up and heading out into the cold/rain.

We waited for the rain to ease before making a dash for it out into the 5/10 minutes of exposed walk before you reach the shelter of trees/bush.

The path was far wetter than it had been on the way up on Friday, more mini rivers and flooded steps, I only slipped once and soon bounced back up!

The walk down with girls was fun, they struggled with the same step/slat blindness we had the previous week – you lose sight of where the steps are in amongst all the slats of the boardwalks.

As we came lower down there were moments where the sun shone through the trees and by the time we were in the forest at the bottom it was officially sunny!

The final walk was great, talking how weird it was to be heading towards civilisation, seeing New Plymouth in the distance.

We got back to the car to discover someone had left a note under my windscreen wiper, carefully wrapped in a plastic bag. I opened it to discover it was for me from someone who’d visited in the hut called Doug, he’d left his number with a message to call him! Had there been charge in my phone I would have been forced to, instead, much to the disappointment of the girls, we tried to work out who Doug was and laughed at the excitement/randomness of it.

I drove them round to North Egmont and on the way we saw what we called the ‘rainbow cloud’. Amazing sight and it lasted for ages, if anyone knows the proper name, please tell me!

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The girls were lovely, they’d arranged to meet a friend for lunch and so gave me the sandwiches they’d made – salami, avocado, cheese, hummus and rocket – amazing!!!!

I drove back to the lodge, unpacked my soggy/smelly clothes and generally sorted myself out

Was good to be back with electricity and sunshine, but missed the fun and friendliness of the hut – I hope I get to do it again

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