Day 116. New Zealand Weather Wins Again. February 26 2016.
11 Km but 0 km of forward progress
Still at Lower Wairaki Hut
It wasn’t raining when I left the hut. The track thru the beech forest was surprisingly dry considering how much it rained yesterday. The wind was blowing the trees around enough that I was concerned about one toppling over. The forest floor is covered with fallen branches. It made it easy to find wood for the fire but I sure hoped none would fall on me as I walked.
I got out of the forest on Telford Tops. The wind was gale force. The view was gorgeous. Bluff and the end of the trail was out there somewhere. I tried to take a photo and was blown over. I managed to take 2 photos.
I tried to walk and even with a crouched position and poles I was knocked down 2 more times. I crawled back into the forest and sat down to figure out what to do.
Mike and Katie walked up. They went to look at the view. We tried together to walk in the open area. It was impossible. There were several kilometers of open ridge walking ahead so crawling was not an option. Once Max got there we decided to walk back to the hut and walk out on a farm road. After eating lunch we left to try plan B. It started to rain. Once we got in the open tussocks the wind was blowing like crazy again. There was just no benefit to try to walk in this for over 20 kilometers. We retreated back to the hut, gathered more firewood, built another fire and enjoyed another afternoon and evening in a wonderful New Zealand hut. No one else showed up at the hut which means that no one right behind us is moving in this weather either.
The only problem for me is that a Kiwi couple I had met at Greenstone Hut had invited me to their home. I told them I would be at the road today. I sent them a message from my Delorme InReach SE. I hope they got it. They are Kiwis so they know how crazy the weather is here.