A whispered conversation at 6am resulted in our decision to carry on to Wanaka, much to Hoera’s delight. She is our TA angel because without her we would not have continued.  The porridge got a little burnt while Martyn was chatting with her, but still tasted good with the last of the dried Golden Delicious apple.

The three of us walked together along the route that we had traveled yesterday. After our first lunch, buckwheat crackers again today, Martyn and I started to pull in front as Hoera clearly struggled with uphill walking. We had correctly estimated the time it would take us to cross Roses Saddle the previous day. We would have arrived at the hut well after 6pm so it had been a wise decision to turn back.

We stopped for second lunch out of the wind near the top of the saddle. I made my buckwheat crackers different by sandwiching them together with the cream cheese and finished off the last of the cucumber. We reached the top of the saddle at 1.30pm. Two hours after leaving the river. This gave me a huge sense of achievement.  Never before have I walked to 1270m.

The way down was steep but my knee is holding up well. All those squats and lunges are definitely paying off. I stopped for a bite of carob bar when we got within sight of the hut. A nice, new building with a large deck. It was quite busy: ourselves, an older couple of experienced trampers, Hoera and Johan and Tara, a young couple who started from Bluff on Jan 5th.

It was my turn to cook the quinoa, peas, green beans and tofu dish tonight. It went down well with both of us. It was followed by chia seed pudding as I shall be finishing my antibiotics tomorrow. Dinner was eaten with this view of the surrounding mountains. This was the first day I had walked up to 1270m and the first night I had slept surrounded by mountains with snow on them, where the only way in (or out) is to walk. I was starting to love being in the mountains.