8.30pm on porch of bed bug infested hut. Round the Mountain Track.
Not the ideal refuge after another mammoth day walking round the mountain. Arrived at hut to find school group of around ten 15/16 yr olds plus note from warden saying main bunk room infested with bed bugs. They were all crammed into side room (students and teachers, not the bed bugs although you never know!). Vicky the teacher in charge was helpful to explain the situation and offered us use of an emergency blanket and shelter. We’ve opted to sleep out on the porch. Bit hard on the deck so will probably get little sleep and/or be sore in morning. But at least we only have a two to three hour walk out to Whakapapa in morning.
Chris has done awesomely, two eleven hour days in a row and today included some pretty tough terrain. We even detoured up to see Blyth hut as well. His mountain legs are quickly matching mine which is somewhat irksome. I had to put on the afterburners on the road section just to have some sort of sense that my hard yards over last 2 months had given me any advantage.
To say we are just going round the one mountain the environments we’ve walked through have been really different. Today it was much more rugged, craggy and “like Scotland”. Yesterday was a real contrast of desert, gorges, and then beech forest. Day before was craters, lakes an heather moorland.
Hard to describe in words how spectacular it was walking the eastern side of Mt Ruapehu in the bright sunshine yesterday so hopefully the photos will give you an idea.