Beggars for Punishment ( Thursday 19th )

Was a big day today – started with a very chilly 3 degrees c dawn and an early start with a big bacon and eggs breakfast for both of us – cooked by myself I should add. All set for a mission of an out and back day on the Routeburn track. I somehow managed to convince Barb that it would be an interesting and worthwhile use of a spare day to walk up past the Routeburn Falls hut to see the spectacular views of the high alpine country near Harris Saddle in perfect weather. The bonus was our ability to leave a food cache at the Routeburn Falls hut so that when we stay at this hut on day 5 of our BIG Greenstone / Routeburn six day walk we will be able to salivate in anticipation of this extra supply of goodies waiting for us – weight also we don’t need to carry for 5 days.
The weather forecast also suggests we may get some poor conditions about the time we next see this country so it was a perfect chance to ensure we get to see some of the high country in fine sunny weather.

IMG_1098.JPGThe tracks heads up thru deep mixed Beech forest . The valley starts narrow and steep so very shaded . Incredible crystal clear waters seem to typify this river. The temperatures slowly became warmer as our effort on the steady but mild climb took the chill away from the extremities.

The walk eventually emerges into some open flats where the R. Flats Hut is situated. Another hour and a half of climbing begins then finishes at the Routeburn Falls hut that is nestled into steep country right at the point the bush gives way to the treeless alpine scenery.

From the falls hut the route continues thru pretty high alpine country with views aplenty. We turned at about the 10 km point and headed back , retracing our route.
Arrived back weary and footsore but satisfied with our effort .
We have one day’s rest now before we begin our big walk that starts up the Greenstone valley track. Some rain is forecast so we are keeping our fingers crossed that it will not be too bad.

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IMG_1103.JPGReaders should note Barbs new walking sticks – her first day to see how she likes them.They are the real makkoy — full carbon – more expensive than my Aluminum sticks 😉 Barb says an exception to the general rule !

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IMG_1112.JPGWe finally made it back to the 5th at about 4 pm , if we didn’t look like a couple of geriatrics we sure felt like it , both complaining of various aches and pains – mainly footsore . We are hopeful that one day off before we begin our big walk will be enough. About 20 Kms .

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