Kepler Trek, New Zealand - Hiking From Iris Burn Hut to Monturau Hut to Rainbow Reach and to the Control Gates
The next day I headed out with another trekker named Bernard. Our plan was to beat the worst of the weather and hike all the way out the 20+ miles remaining in the trail. Andy was going to take an extra day so I gave him my now unnecessary last dinner. In return, Andy was kind enough to give me an apple. Well worth it from both of our perspectives.
Bernard and I made good time under a very slight drizzle. Given the forecast, we weren’t complaining. We flew all the way to the first shelter in almost half the predicted time of 3 hours. After a quick break we continued on to the next hut and informed them we wouldn’t be spending the night. If you switch itineraries always let the hut masters know, otherwise they will come looking for you. Needless to say if you are safe in the town bar they won’t be happy when they find out.
We made equally good time walking in the lush forest reminiscent of Milford. There was even a boardwalk out to a bog. Keeping our eyes on the trail we were given an unexpected last treat in bright red, almost cartoonish mushrooms.
There was a shortcut out, but I decided to walk all the way out. It was actually a mistake. Instead of ending on a high note, the last few miles of the trail were not old growth, but a replanted forest. Man’s touch was nowhere as good as Mother Nature’s.
Upon reaching the end of the trail, a runner came by and offered us a lift back to town.
The story continues...