Up up up we went. Cream crackered we were. We were heading for Browning Hut but once we caught sight of Roebuck the thought of noodles for tea and a snooze seemed too compelling to continue. Way too hot today!
Hordes of Wasps! So many wasps. The hills are full of them. The ground is heaving with them. Why?! These small old-school huts are metal clad and collect the heat of the day a bit too efficiently. Stifling heat inside, we weigh up leaving the doors open to cool it ( and fill it with sandflies and wasps ) or leave the heat boxed up for when we loose the sun. Hmm…
Sitting outside we debate the evilness of wasps vs sandflies. “At least wasps aren’t literally trying to eat you”. “True, true”. Wasps have been officially downgraded from the worst thing to be trapped in the long drop with, to second place. In fact, I hear later that they eat sandflies? Maybe wasps are our friends after all.
Hot Wasp Tip! From our new hiker friend Andrew:
Never touch the black furry trees. The wasps’ll be following you! There are tiny hairs sticking out of the black fuzz on the bark. They’re termite bums and they’re dripping with a honey-like substance ( not for eating tho! ). Wasps love it.
Black trees = no touchie.
At one point I didn’t think we were going to make it out today, but a lunchtime snooze re-energised Nicky to keep going and we made it out to the road about 5.30pm. 20 min of thumb waving secured us a lift down to the Hanmer Springs turn off with a lovely couple returning from a wedding. They were heading back home to Christchurch, crikey.. Hope they are ok.. The next hitch came along in a matter if seconds, first car in fact! We’re now in Hanmer Springs resting and resupplying for the next section to Arthur’s Pass.
It was a long, long wobbly-wire and slatted-wooden bridge through the forrest from one side of this roaring river to the other. I took Nico’s Swedish Army training lead and we warped-it accross in no time. Well, my camera zoom did at any rate ;-) I on the other hand held onto the wire tight, only remembering to breath when the startling view below made me auto-exhale into the gleaming sunshine as it twinkled through the canopy of leaves and onto the meandering swash (technical terminology i believe for warp-speed water what wanders ;-) making me giddy with brunch o’clock fright ‘n’ delight.