Then the bright orange arrow points straight to the river. I’m slightly confused. I am standing in a big open space, walking on the rocks of the riverbed. The river looks inviting, but I know it will be cold. At the end the river splits, leaving no room for me to walk. Am I supposed to cross the river? I am lost. When I walk towards an opening in the forest I think I’ve found the path again. All I see is a fireplace, but the orange arrows are nowhere to be found. Luckily I brought the book with all the walk descriptions. I am definitely supposed to cross on a swingbridge. There is no swingbridge. “What’s going on? Where am I supposed to go?” I say out loud, irritated, as I retrace my steps. Then I see two older trampers in full tramping costumes emerging from the forest. Next to them is a big bright orange sign. I’m back on track!
I am walking on the track to Nina hut in the Lake Sumner forest park and am nearly at the second swingbridge. After the first I walked through an open forest. The trees were quite spread out, leaving some room for the sun to come through. The ground was covered in tree roots and moss. It was very wet and in many places they had placed rocks and logs to cross streams or muddy areas. After the swingbridge the forest got denser. The path continued alongside the river going up and down and up and down. About midway I saw another couple. They were about to turn around. The walk was too strenuous on the knees. All I saw was forest. Even though it’s gorgeous, it’s not my favorite type of walk.
Even when I reached the Nina hut, which was somewhat higher, there was not really an open view. I quickly had lunch because the sandflies were swarming around me, debating who could have which piece of me. In the meantime dark clouds came rolling in. I hurried back down. I fit started raining, the mud would become puddles and the streams tiny rivers. Again the river looked inviting, so I braved the water. Chilly, but so refreshing. Unfortunately the sandflies continued their party, so I had a quick splash to clean myself and ten continued to the end of the track. When I was almost at the finish I saw the couple again.
After a quick chat I went back to my van. I spent the night at the Marble Hill picnic area. What a beautiful spot! There is a big open space, surrounded by mountains and next to the Maruia river. It’s exactly on the alpine faultline and they built a wall here so they can see the movement. Since 1964 there hasn’t been any.