Another walk in the rain!
Routeburn Track Travel Blog› entry 64 of 254 › view all entries
Up early at 7.30am to finish packing and make sandwiches for today. We parked the car and got on the bus that took us to the start of the Routeburn Track. What was the weather like I hear you ask? It was raining. We set off just after ten. The beginning of the track went over a wire suspension bridge and then took us through forest, past rivers and waterfalls, the view occasionally opening up to reveal bush covered mountains and valleys. Even though it was raining and quite misty, we could really appreciate how spectacular the scenery is.
Within an hour we were fairly soaked, although at this stage our boots and inner layers were still dry. On the bus the driver had assured us that all rivers and streams were bridged, "so no drama's there then" were his words.
Within half an hour our boots were swimming with water anyway. We reached the turn off for the Routeburn Falls Hut which we knew was about one and a half hours uphill so we munched on a couple of sandwiches in the rain before trudging on. As we began to climb, the path became a muddy stream and our packs and wet boots felt very heavy (should have left the wine behind). At this point it stopped being fun.
At about 2pm we suddenly came upon the Routeburn Falls Hut. It was in a spectacular location, built on stilts on the side of the mountain at about 1000 metres. Even though it was still quite misty, we stood on the veranda and looked across the valley at the mountains on the other side. A clap of thunder signalled even heavier rain. Just as we arrived a helicopter came through the mist carrying a load underneath and landed just above the hut. This is the only way supplies are able to reach here due to the remoteness of it.
For the second time in as many weeks, we found ourselves pouring water out of our boots. We quickly bagged our beds in the bunkroom and made for the large communal area which was warm due to its coal burning stove. Had two cups of tea and began to warm up. We got a spot quite near to the fire and chatted and read for a while. The place began to fill up, as more and more extremely wet and cold walkers started to arrive. We were glad that we had arrived early because the rain had swelled the streams even more, and there were tales of people really struggling to cross them and even falling in. We made one of our freeze dried meals for tea (chicken terriaki with rice). Later in the evening we got chatting with a lad called Greg from Brisbane and were then joined by a girl from Lancaster and a lad from Seattle. We chatted for ages (and it was a really nice atmosphere), even after the lights went out at ten and people started to light candles. We were the last to leave at about 11pm - we couldn't bear to leave the warmth and make our way to the cold dorm. We both got into our sleeping bags fully clothed and felt very snug. The forcast is for a cold night so we were prepared.