By Anthony Baker, 26 June 2023
Lottie and I run over the Tekapo bridge
relishing being able to move our legs
after 11 hours in Lilly’s beamer.
When we arrive at the beach
near Te Anau road end
the faster group has already got there first
and written VUWTC into the sand.
Purple mushrooms on the track side.
Up the slope
to the tops with tussock grass
and patches of white snow.
the hut warden
demands to see our hut passes
and complains about the tap
someone has turned off.
Why are they in a bad mood
when this is where they are?
You look out of the dining room window
and can see a layer of cloud covering Lake Te Anau
contained by the mountains.
In the morning the cloud is lit up with orange
But then, pan your view to the folks on the balcony
– Kate and Ira are doing hula hoops.
There’s a kea on the balcony too.
The hut warden thinks
it might have turned off the tap.
Over the tops
With lakes and mountains on either side
Big, sheer drop.
Antics on frozen tarn
Chris attempts to belly-slide through 5 people’s legs
Down to Iris Burn
Jessie falls off the path!
Into some ferns.
But is pulled back up by 2 strong men.
It is dark when we get to the hut.
In the morning there are
many many sandflies.
We see whio on a detour to the falls
first alerted by their whistle
there are two of them.
At Moturau hut
the lake water is still.
Some of us paddle but
I don’t want to get my hut crocs wet.
That last dinner,
on the way out:
a sea of ferns.