30km, 9 hours

What a change. The first 15km are completely uneventful: more desert, more dry, parched land with only rabbits. It’s cold out. Oddly freezing for what you’d think is a hot desert.

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Then the landscape transforms into big mountains, subtly green again. Perhaps most unusual is that there is a road up here, to a pass that’s 1700m up and steep. In fact, all the hills around here have farm road, 4WD tracks cut all the way to the top. Like hundreds of kilometers worth. They aren’t farmed…at least not now, and these are barren hills – the roads aren’t for forestry. It’s almost like a guy owned a bulldozer, then retired with nothing to do. And he just spent years cutting roads into the most remote places, with landslides toppling over the road all too often. This guy had dedication. Or he was crazy.

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Day 95 – Top Timaru Hut to Pakituhi Hut

Day 93 – Lake Ohau to Ahuriri River