Omahuta – wet bypass to Puketi Hut
4 Oct, by pass not included in TAkm, 43km, 16hrs
Walking to find Apple Tree Camp (often called Apple Dam). A pleasant walk expecting an afternoon off. Raining but pleasant until!!!! The camp is all under water, couldn’t find the fresh water or toilet. These are hidden back in the bush a bit so I heard later. I didn’t investigate because of the streams of water laying everywhere. So carried on to check conditions further on.
I reached out to Kris who was ahead of me a few days and she had no problem with rain. But reminded me of the concrete ford overflow. This meant the Puketi Track would be impassable through the stream.
So I doubled back to a timber wayside, too wet to camp, however I finally had a cook up. And there was intermittent internet service to get a reply from Kris. The by pass route was 28km away from Puketi Hut. It was midday so I estimated it would take me 12 hours on the metal road to get there.
I cooked the meals I’d missed in light rain. I ate one for lunch and stored one for later. Made a cuppa tea and curried pumpkin soup. After reassembling my wet pack and contents more evenly I headed out for Puketi Hut without a booking since my data could not process the form online.
The bush was the best I’ve seen anywhere in NZ. Rich forest with kauri, rimu, Nikau, birds, tea tree, grasses and native flowers, clematis. Just wonderful sight, sound and smell.
The area changed to farmland and forestry – pine trees.
Just on dusk, 7:30 looking back across
Walking on the gravel road was challenging. The gravel went from small marble size to fist size gravel impossible to walk on. The road camber made it slippery and I fell a few times.
A few cars, some with bee hives on back made me suspicious of what night operations were going on. About 9:00 boy racers were screaming through the forest road on some expedition. I made myself known by shinning my torch on myself.
Finally some signposts and internet. I googled the way to the hut that gave me an idea of how far.
I pulled out my sleeping bag climbed into it fully clothed and slept on the narrow bench.
A long walk that was a test. It was enjoyable but I was tired, hungry and sore.