Arriving at a hut after a day’s walk usually sparks a rush of activity, the details of which depend on the time of arrival and the weather. What follows is an overview of the routine with an early arrival on a sunny day. When arriving late the focus is food and sleeping!
We arrive about 4.30 pm
Claim a bunk, Sarah and I prefer bottom bunks, Sandie a top bunk. If there are few fellow trampers we can spread out, if the hut is full it’s an exercise in containment, especially if wanting to keep track of your gear. Can’t replace it if lost!
Washing day’s clothes, particularly undies and smelly socks (we only have two pairs of each)
Hanging them out to dry on whatever suitable outpost is available: tree branches, bushes, rocks, walking poles, inside drying line or rack.
Deciding what to eat.
Taking stuff out of the pack: food bag, sleeping gear, clothes bag.
Soaking dehy veggies (insufficiently soaked ones play havoc with innards and morning rush to the long drop!)
Writing our details in the hut book and reading others’ posts, particularly from people we have met before (they’re all speeding along ahead of us).
Chatting with other trampers – we’ve met some lovely people :).
Divying the tasks for cooking, getting and filtering water and doing dishes.
Having a hot chocolate drink as dessert for extra calories; if the water is unfiltered it needs to be boiled for at least three minutes.
Cleaning teeth, using boiled or filtered water.
Getting breakfast ready; for me that is soaking our delicious muesli – can only do this after dinner as we need all our pots for cooking.
Getting snacks ready from the main food bag into my daily ration bag which I carry in my front “balance bags”.
Checking and bringing in washing; hanging inside or accept it will have to be attached to the outside of the pack the next day, to be air-dried that way.
Depending on the quality of the hut, i.e. whether or not fly screens are on the windows, we go through a ritual of ridding the place of as many sandflies as possible.
Sometimes there is time for some journal writing
Then suddenly the light is fading, four or more hours have melted away and it is time to hit the sack…. wake up time is 6 am for a 7/7.30 am start of walking!