You can read a bit more about it in my February Newsletter.
Me and Thomas and Pauline and Jojo hitched down to Hawkes Bay to join Caleb and Lewis who live down there.
Setting out in the 'Slow to Forty' towards the hills. Lewis and Jojo looking like they're wondering what they are in for.
At the carpark, Caleb with the map out and Pauline in my hat.
Getting ready for the first walk. Pauline, Caleb, Thomas, Lewis, and Jojo
At the first hut, Middle Hill hut, Thomas is on lunch.
I began work on my first hut drawing that afternoon.
Caleb and Pauline enjoying coffee on the deck. As you can see, all our stuff gets scattered everywhere as soon as we arrive.
In the morning, looks like Caleb is making porridge in his sleep!
Boots thrown off and drying after yesterdays wet walk in the rain.
At the end of the mornings drawing, my first pastel drawing of a hut.
The critics at work. Really, they weren't that good at it. Too many nice comments!
The view up on the tops above the treeline was amazing!
A few gun posing shots.
It was very windy up there. We had fun leaning against it and pretending to be blown away, until it got too cold and we walked on.
My drawing board kept flying in all directions! Whacked me on the back of the head a few times, and got Thomas good once.
Ballard Hut. The first four bunk hut, was a bit tight and the hut got very hot with the stove going.
Walking on to the next hut the next day.
Jojo, Lewis, and Pauline.
Coming down to the trees again.
The forest was beautiful, but we didn't manage to get a good photo of it.
Pauline often went off hunting with Jojo who was determined to shoot a deer. All he managed was a shot at one one night and missed.
Dog kennel at Makino Hut.
Drawing Makino hut, the result of this is one of my favorite pieces.
Next stop was Te Puia hot springs where we camped the night. It was so nice to enjoy a hot bath and a good scrub. There was a really nice river there also. In the evening lots of eels came out and Caleb speared one. Here it is smoking in the BBQ chimney.
Whenever there was a river Caleb did as much fishing as he could get in.
Finished our first loop walk of four nights. Out at the carpark again sorting out food for the next eight day walk.
People trying to catch up on sleep in the car.
There was a long steep climb up to this hut, Kiwi Saddle. On the way we saw a beautiful sunset, I wish I had taken photos. We arrived here after dark and the hut was full of people. We managed to find room and most of them left early in the morning. It was raining on and off while I drew, and then it set in so I didn't quite manage to finish the drawing.
Walked down the hill to Kiwi Mouth hut.
We made a food cache here as we passed back this way. It saved carrying a lot of weight up the next hill.
It was only a four bunk hut. So we put one mattress on the floor, Caleb made himself a mattress of manuka and Pauline and I top and tailed.
Thomas and Caleb looking bored while they wait for me to finish the drawing so that we can go.
Before we left a heli arrived dropping off a couple of hunters. If we had wanted a ride up to the next hut it would have been $150 each for the five minutes.
This is the longest swing bridge I've been on so far. It was lots of fun!
Got up to the tops again and the cloud hid everything.
Old Manson hut. We spent an extra night here so I could spend more time drawing.
There was a lot of wood chopping demonstrations at this hut. One of their past times as I was drawing.
Inside the hut was a dirt floor and sacking bunks.
It was very dark inside the hut, like a cave. Caleb wished we had a spade there to dig out the floor a bit. There was one beam he banged his head on just about every time he passed under it.
In the morning the sun's rays shone directly into the hut making awesome beams of light.
Pauline and Jojo left first and did a bit of hunting before walking on to the next hut. They left their packs by the track and as we passed we added a rock into Jojo's pack. He walked half a Km before he discovered it!
The view from Rocks Ahead hut. It was a beautiful walk over the open tops and then steeply down to the river.
I tried to wash my hair, it didn't work well! Too dirty for the small amount of shampoo I had. It's very hard to look after long hair in the bush.
The river was icy cold!
I drew the hut from the river bed and was savagely attacked by sand flys!
The view from the cable car.
Jojo shot a hare and Caleb made a stew out of it. It was the first time I had had hare and it tasted good.
We all very much enjoyed Rocks Ahead hut. I caught my first trout there and Caleb caught lots!
Caleb's catch for the day made us a good feed.
Up to the tops again. A steep climb up from Rocks Ahead.
Looking down towards Back Ridge hut. The long walk makes this view look simply amazing! The photo dose not do it justice.
Playing chess with bits of paper. Someone forgot to bring the pieces so we just had the board. You must be careful not to sneeze or cough while playing this. One game was destroyed that way!
Caleb's fish cooking.
The last hut was Cameron Hut. Unfortunately it was raining here so all I got of this was a quick sketch and a dunny sketch.
The hike over and everyone is happy but tired.
You can see even more photos on my facebook page! This time there were plenty of photographers so we got a lot more photos than on the first trip. Our old camera dose alright after all.