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TA Day 116, Taipo Hut to Mavora Lake, 27 km

The stars were electric last night, even as the super moon made a grand entrance, lighting up one stray cloud in the crook of high peaks. First, just a silver tint, then as though someone turned on an inner light before the mountains gave birth to a bright candle-glow-yellow orb, slowly taking over the sky.

TA Day 115, McKellar Hut to Taipo Hut, 28 km

It’s a night shared with smokers, door slammers and snorers, but it turns out to be pretty fun in a new, large hut – replete with flush toilets – filled at capacity with trampers, though not a single TA hiker but me. Good conversation and energy. The sky is clear and even as it gets […]

TA Day 114, ‘detour’ Routeburn River to McKellar Hut, 38 km

It rained all night. I am dry and warm in the alicoop, but I don’t think I can hike an alpine trail of 32 kilometers in pouring rain. For the first time on this odyssey, I’m stuck. I try to be practical and think through every possibility as I remain snug and fat raindrops hit […]

TA Day 113, Arrowtown to Routeburn Track, 30 km

I’m up before dawn, quietly moving my gear into the common room so I can pack loudly. Someone on the Guthook hiker app couldn’t find this fabulous space with several sinks, dishes, hot water dispenser and comfy chairs where I prepare for the day ahead. I’m nervous starting because I have no idea how I’ll […]

TA Day 112, Roses Hut to Arrowtown, 24 km

The stars did not disappoint. I checked often through the night, the nearly full moon lighting up this wild landscape. Only after it set, did twinkling commence. I’m a bit in between now – longing for my own bed and big bathtub, but I don’t want this hike to end. And that’s definitely true for […]

TA Day 111, Fern Burn Hut to Roses Hut, 17 km

Walking is the natural recreation for a (wo)man who desires not absolutely to suppress (her) intellect but to turn it out to play for a season. All great (wo)men of letters have therefore been enthusiastic walkers. —Leslie Stephen I’m awakened by one of the Czech’s alarms. He has to scramble down from the top bunk […]

TA Day 110, Wanaka to Fern Burn Hut, 27 km

The morning is lazy because I have to wait for the bank to open. I load up on more calories, the good conversation continues and I thumb through a photo book with commentary on Harry and Andrew’s hike in Nepal, licking my chops dreaming of more places I want to go. Olive Oyl is weighted […]

TA Day 109, ‘zero day’ Wanaka

Pink sky in the morning, hiker take warning. Good thing I planned a rest day as the clouds move in, shut out the mountains and it begins to rain. I am happy to have the day for only a few tasks like sending on my bounce box to Invercargill, resupplying for the next section, changing […]

TA Day 107, Hawea to Wanaka, 25 km

It rained nearly all night on the alicoop in this odd carved out campground above the hotel. Self-contained vehicles hemmed me in, but most everyone tucked in early enough. I read an interesting article about regret before I closed my eyes. The author used a phrase, ‘counterfactual thinking’ to describe the ‘what if’ stories we […]