Sleepless night, wind was making a huge noise outside.
Woken at midnight and told weather was too bad to walk. Mixture of disappointment and relief. Back to semi-sleep.
Awoke 6am – woke up Ossy and crew, light breakfast – unbeknown to us – the fun and games were soon to begin!!
Leave hut at 7-30am.
70 km/h winds outside and snow storm with ice rain – in your face. Can’t stand up properly.
There are large snowdrifts.
We leave in three 4×4’s. (Large shogun – ossy, Small Shogun – , Large Toyota Landcruiser driven by Frankie). Small shogun – I’m in, has bald tyres, doesn’t go more than 200yds – skidding all over the place. We change cars.
Small shogun goes off the road – twice. We spend the next 2 hrs pulling it back on the road – all of us out the car – ropes etc. We have x1 shovel between us all. Eventually we abandon this vehicle and get in the other 2.
This was very hairy. Takes us 4 hrs to go about 1km down the hill. Trying to inch the cars forward metre by metre. Steep drops down mountain. Ossy’s shogun also hanging over the cliff at one point – we drag it back, by cutting divots for front wheels.
I was cold, wet and exhausted – worried I’d get hypothermia. Worried also we’d only have 1 functioning vehicle for 13 if Ossy’s car became un-usable.
In the end got down the mountain and took 7.5 hours to reach Rumiloma. We transferred back to the bus, ½ way down the mountain.
Got back to Rumiloma, rested – went out with – Bob, Martin, Chesh, Nigel and Matt – to Foch square – had a drink x2, then went back to ‘Crepes and waffles’ restaurant for a 2nd time – Bob request. Chesh again ordered badly. Nigel had another huge loaf – this time with prawns inside.
Taxis – ours 15 dollars, other 6 dollars – ours had flashing light – blue at back – orange red at front, together with an ax-minster carpet on the dashboard!
Got back to Rumiloma. John, Wynne, Christine and keith – back from cloud forest – had a fantastic time – bird walks, slept in 5 storey tree house. A huge contrast to our last 24 hours of near hell.