Last stop on the lake

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Saturday, February 28, 2004

East Cape Tour - Day Seven!

Robert and I were up before Sebastian, and started preparing the breakfast. By the time he walked in the kitchen we had everything ready and he was really surprised. It wasn't much of a birthday breakfast, but when you're on a tramp everything tastes so good. Today was not actually Sebastian's real birthday, but he would be travelling with his parents on the actual date so we figured now was as good as any day!

Again we were the last people to get going and leave the hut, but each day we seemed to make up the time and overtake the same people that left before us. One of the puzzling themes emerging from reading entries in the guest book were hikers complaining about the lack of markers. We could not understand these comments, as there were very clear red markers all along the route. No matter where you were on the track you could always see a directional marker, and in most places at least two. If anything I thought the marking was excessive and detracted from the aesthetics of the tramp, especially the well-trodden paths through bush where markers simply pointed out the obvious.

This stage of our route passed the newest DOC huts to be built. We didn't like the look of them. They seemed far too much like modern army barracks, with separate buildings for the kitchen/dining and sleeping quarters. We had a short break there before moving on and finding a rocky shore on the lake to have our lunch.

The hiking today was considerably easier for a couple of reasons. We were getting used to hiking with our laden backpacks, and they were getting a little lighter as we ate our food (although we still had to carry all our rubbish with us). Top tip: when buying food for multi-day tramps always keep in mind the weight and bulk of the containers the food comes in, as you are going to have to carry them with you for the remainder of the tramp.

Our final destination on the Lake Waikaremoana tramp was the Whanganui Hut. This was also the oldest and best of the three we stayed at. We guessed that the other trampers preferred the more modern facilities, as we were the only ones staying at the Whanganui Hut this night. After a great meal it was time for another game of Settlers with tea. We had finished all of our chocolate by this stage and regretted not bringing extra supplies of treats. Oh well, there was only one more day to go, and tomorrow was going to be a relatively short days walk to the boat landing.
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