This post takes place between January 5th and January 11th.
After the diverse mordor experience we hitched in to Taupo for resupply and a zero day. Felt nice to cook some proper food and play with Biggie, the hostel bulldog. During my New Zealand stay I've truly improved my egg cooking skills. We usually scramble a dozen eggs, fry an onion and some fresh lettuce for breakfast. Grade some matured cheddar over the eggs and you have a killer breakfast. Almost always we also split 750 grams of plain yogurt and mix in some fresh fruit. Need less to say, I'm enjoying town breakfast!
We hitched to Kiko Road next day - the start of our Kaimawana/Kaweka hike. A bit over 100 km through river valleys, over tree line, in gorges and among beautiful trees in the forests.
Got a ride all the way to the trail head, it's surely relieving for the feet to not hike road sections. Roads hurt...
First day were supposed to be an easy half day through some native forest sections and a couple of km above tree line. Aiming for Cascade hut, we headed out around 16:00 with an estimated four hour hike in front of us. Usually this would probably be a four hour hike but since last September provided the mountains with the heaviest snowstorms in years, a huge number of trees were blown down over the trails. The hike ended at 22:30, last 45 minutes in pitch black steep downhill with blowdowns everywhere. Hard to find the trail around in the dense bush. Hence BD, blowdowns.
Next day we turned off trail down into a river valley to save ourselves from a couple of hundred vertical meters. Going off trail thru the river valley the legs got scraped by all the under story overgrowth, hence USOG. We also met a hunter couple who gave us some fresh venison filet. Carried it to tenderize for two days. Best trail dinner of my life...
After camping in the river valley we headed up in hills ruled by tussocks, really big tussocks. So big that they peaked in under my skirt and tickled the Crown Jewels. Hence BTT, ball tickling tussocks.
Last days we ventured from the river valleys up into high country, around 1724m. Up and down and up and down and up and yeah you get it. Accumulating a shitload of vertical meters. Hence VM.
Despite some pretty hard days the Kawekas proved to be the prettiest mountains so far. Although pretty close to civilization they felt very remote. We met only the hunter couple in three days. Beautiful weather on the peaks, but battered by gales at times. Totally enjoyable!