Alarm clocks went off early Friday morning and somehow we were able to stumble out the door. We met our friendly Kiwi friend Paul and headed for the rainy West Coast of New Zealand. The drive was beautiful and included a jaunt through snowy, beautiful Arthur’s Pass. We also passed rain forests and fields full of grazing sheep. Quite the ecological buffet.
After a roughly six hour drive, we finally arrived at Copland Track with reasonably clear skies. We all counted our blessings and headed for the hut, where we would be staying for the night. Huts are man-made shacks placed at intervals along well-established tracks. Most of the major “tracks” or hiking trails are equipped with these lodgings. Fitting convenience for such an active country.
The trek was beautiful but was not without wrong turns and tough choices. At one point, we thought that the first hut had been removed and that we would have to trek 20 km that night to get to the second hut. We eventually found the first hut while under the threat of enveloping darkness and heavy rain. We cooked a very basic meal over an open flame and played some cards that night.