So said Barb the other day — ” it starts off with a diamond and a couple of hearts – but by the end of the game it leaves one looking for a couple of big clubs and a decent sized spade! Our Kepler Big walk — all 60 Kms was an exception however – it just kept dealing us hearts and diamonds and we enjoyed the experience together. The forecast gave us a spell of dry and warm weather and the rain has only started to fall just after we finished day 4.
The walk begins on the lake frontage but soon we were committed to the climb – a steady 800 metre winding up through dense podocarp forest . At the altitude of about 1000 metres we finally emerged into the tussock country and the effort is well rewarded with many great views of the surrounding country. We made steady if painful progress – the weight of all the food we had ( foolishly )elected to carry starting to make me feel like a beast of burden. The thought of eating big meals is appealing as less burden tomorrow . By the last day it will be bliss.
The last night is this great hut in the shore of lake Manapouri – Motorau Hut
By this stage of the walk we had started to get to know others also on this walk so the evenings were an interesting time for chatting and swapping yarns. There were a few tired and muscle weary walkers mainly due to the extremely steep and long descent on day 2 – to Iris Burn hut – very punishing on knees particularly.