Spine of the Fish  Day 26: nothing’s gonna happen

‘What? Another zero day? You gotta be kidding me!’

The Norwegian Weather Gods said that there would be 39mm of rain that day…and they spoketh the truth.

We know better than to ignore their wisdom so booked in an extra day at Komata Lodge.
To say that the place is soulless would be unkind…but the racist graffiti and iron prison beds combined with the stench of our rotten boots certainly created a certain kind of ‘ambience.’
It’s not often that we leave a hut worse than we found it but our pong has left a stain on the place that may last for years.

Beer shrine, Komata Hut



We ate the last of our breakfast then hooked into the hut’s only reading material. Four editions of ‘Antics’, the Otago University Tramping Club Journal. We may not be actual members, but we may as well be now. After 500 pages of generally entertaining trip reports, editor’s complaints and dodgy backcountry behaviour (and poetry) we feel like we should go to the next OUTC Bushball. I’ve already picked out a frock.

We now know what aquanautics is, why there is a fridge up Refrigerator Valley and the history of Peter Wilson’s (the current Federated Mountain Club president) car fleet and cd collection. I’m thinking of going on Mastermind and having ‘OUTC Between the Years of 2000 to 2011’ as my subject.

The rain came. Went. Came. Went…and came again. We wandered around outside. Scratched ourselves. Read some more Antics. Scratched ourselves. Ate the last of our breakfast and lunch supplies except for enough to get us to our food stash at Robson’s Lodge at Kuripapongo…and scratched ourselves some more.

Komata Hut still life – rifle pellets and dead flies.


Then in desperation we planned an attack on Robson’s that would see us leave our beloved base camp at 5am the next morning.

Did I say a couple of apiarist workers drove up at one stage, rolled down a window and roared. Then drove off. No? Well that happened.

We slept. Scratched ourselves. Changed our clothes. Then I wrote this at 6.30pm while Fiona cooked tea.

As it went dark we read more Antics before turning in for a short but well earned sleep.

(Note: we would’ve gone down the 22kms to Robson’s Lodge in the rain had we been able to book a place there, but the only way to do it is to get the key from DoC’s Napier office before we left. Perhaps a combination lock system like Manawatu DoC use at Pohangina Base would get more punters through the door of what is a great little place to stay.)

Wilderlife