Pelorus Bridge to Captain Creek Hut
Months ago, amongst arduous tasks on my traverse preparation list, I took some time out and did some extensive research on the tracks that now lay ahead of me. So with much anticipation, I left Pelorus Bridge early and set off on a country road hike to a world which I will never forget. Eventually the road lead me to the start of the Pelorus River Track. At the start of the track, while crossing the first bridge, I immediately felt better about the area and what lay ahead of me and my spirits had lifted. With the weather in mind it was looking like a ten-day hike through to St Arnaud.
As I weaved my way through the countryside I recalled some of the material I had found through websites and books I had read. While doing so, minutes would pass at a time before I’d realise how far I had hiked. Occasionally I looked back making sure I hadn’t missed anything. I put this down to entering my comfort zone. For myself, I can only reach this place when I’m truly prepared. I had enough food to last me a comfortable fifteen days. Right from the start, when I decided on traversing NZ, this is what I had set out for. The South Island’s wilderness had arrived.
I liked the look of my surroundings and I know that I’m not one to ever take them for granted. The water of the Pelorus River was crystal clear with a subtle green tinge to it. In some places the water was spot on emerald-green. Perhaps this is why the pools of emerald-green water were given quite the unusual name of – “The Emerald Pools”! Take as long as you need to figure that one out. I guess it goes to show that no matter where you are in the world, you can always count on an original name coming to the fore which really hits that nail square on the head, provided it’s in good old english of course.
There were swing bridges to cross which I always enjoy. I Love a good swing on bridge. At least in New Zealand one has a fairly good chance of not having a bridge threaten to fold underneath once at the point of no return, unlike some others I’ve crossed in third world locations. I’m not sure why but every time I cross a dodgy looking bridge a particular song is automatically brought to mind. “Should I Stay or should I Go Now” by The Clash! . . . Every time!
I was looking forward to reaching Captain Creek Hut. I’ve done quite a bit of research on the huts I’ll be visiting on the Te Araroa Trail so I tend to look forward to them because of that. As I closed in on Captains Hut I came across two enchanted forests. I couldn’t resist capturing each of them. I don’t think one is really permitted to merely roam through such beauty and just keep hiking without retrieving ones camera out of ones backpack. I’m sure you’re meant to at least take one photo as a small show of appreciation towards all living things. The two forests were just minutes apart from each other yet distinctly different – one enchanted, the other prehistoric.
Each of the forest photos are made up of two individual photos as my camera doesn’t have a wide enough lense to capture the entire width of what was there. Hopefully the result will look a little wider than a normal photo and will have just as much clarity.
When I finally got to the turn off to the hut I still felt like hiking on but the next hut was too far to reach before nightfall so Captains it was. The turn off sign said 5 mins to the hut but I could see the hut right there about 20 seconds away. So not quite sure what that was all about? I’m sure for some people, a situation like that could have them confused for at least five minutes.
Since there was no water tank at the hut I went down to the river to collect water and sterilize it. I really enjoyed being down at the river minus the annoying sand flies. After dinner I went down to the shallow parts of the river for a swim. Sandflies don’t like wet skin so I just enjoyed time in the river before heading back to the hut to catch up on some of the blog. This involves old-fashioned pen and paper which I type out at a later date and email to Gordon who then pieces the post together. A few weeks later when I arrive into a town to check emails and the blog, it’s all done. Now that’s a great way to hike through a foreign land.
Believe it or not, I had a fantastic roast chicken (Back Country) dinner followed by some fresh fruits of the forest. A perfect way to end off a great day.