Very sore body today, this track we found was the hardest to date, with us all having mulitple falls, slides and tanties. It was hard going in the mud, which was sometimes past my knees, I kept my boots attached to my feet but a couple of times wondered where they had gone. The weather was not great for us with our views limited to openings in the clouds. On the bright side, the new hut is fantastic, cold, there wasn't a time when we could not see our breath. No we weren't able to make smoke rings like Gandalf. People shared their candles at night and the conversation was interesting. In the morning there were ultra runners and athletes getting training sessions in. Totally felt like we were our of our league when in their company, must say they aren't wearing the big packs but yeah "who runs to the top of a crazy mountain just for fun", no running for us. On the fantastic boardwalk from the hut to Hirikiwi lookout you walk through some amazing forest, different to anything we have encourtered so far, it had a surreal feel as it was misty and water droplets dripping from every unusual moss, fern and tree trunk formations. On the way down we were very lucky to met Paul who went to the top and joined us again before we reached the bottom. Great knowledge and experience of the trails and we hope to catch up with him again in the South Island when we pass his way.