[Greenstone/Caples Walk, Day 3]
Leaving a hut is very different from arriving at one. Huts, like summits, rarely sneak up on you. The road to a hut is more often marked by long anticipation, false hopes, spurious sightings and even the odd tear.
It had certainly been like that with McKellar Hut. We’d arrived tired and sore in body and mind, ready to raise a hallelujah, if only a faint one. But leaving the hut next morning we had no equivalent sense of occasion. A couple of dozen steps, across the bridge, turn right, and we were out of sight, back into beech forest, back into our walking rhythm.
But McKellar Hut had done its job. We’d been refreshed by food and wine, good company and a welcome rest. We’d traded stories and laughter, exchanged track information, and then gone our separate ways. Oddly (to us) we were the only ones headed for Greenstone Hut, the others scattering in various directions. Opinion on the day’s walk ahead of us was divided. On the positive side we heard “easy”; on the negative “long”. The opinion we found odd was from a Kiwi tramper, who thought it “boring”.