About 10 years ago I decided that my New Years Eves were probably limited so I had better make sure I remember them all from now on, so each year I have made sure I am somewhere different and memorable and not drunk.
So as 2019 ended I headed up to Te Matawai Hut in the Tararua Ranges with my younger son, Dean. I had commandeered him to carry up my 6 days of food because it was one heck of a climb straight up a mountain for 13 km taking nearly 8 hours. That is 1.6 km per hour which I think I could crawl faster than!
So with my new lighter pack (thanks Roman) and no food on board I was able to keep up with my big strong son all the way. We chatted all day and again I enjoyed having that one to one time with him. He has also made me very proud of what he has achieved in his life time and of the lovely family he has. He also brought along some red wine and cheese and crackers to celebrate the sun going down on 2019. I had an early start to a big few days so staying up to see the New Year in was not a viable option.
The hut soon filled up. There was a young American TA hiker, Caroline, who I had met at Toko Corner, and a few other locals on overnight tramps.
A group of men arrived with a 5 year old boy and a dog in tow. The boy looked in better condition than the dog, which proceeded to grow severely at anyone who moved. I have felt like that at times when I have had a day with only 2 feet in the mud so I sympathised with him having to deal with 4 wet and stuck feet. However I did insist that the dog not sleep in the bunk room as they had wanted, and be tied up outside. I didn’t want to get up to pee in the night and have to come across a growling pig dog.
Mask on and ear plugs in I slept as well as an old lady can on a platform bed in a room full of people.