Kiwi Saddle Toilet Relocation

May 28th / 29th

Susan, Janice Peter and Glenda decided to make a longer weekend of the Kiwi Saddle working bee so they left town about 9.30 on the Friday morning and drove to the Lakes Road carpark.  They started up the track around 11 AM in misty conditions and stopped for lunch just short of the junction with the Smith Russell track.  The mist continued for the whole of the trip in and they arrived at Kiwi Saddle around 3 PM.  

An inspection of the loo showed the level was far lower than had been seen previously, obviously the level is subject to fluctuating ground water levels. After some discussion, a new site was selected, a bit higher up than the previous one to reduce the influence of groundwater.  For the rest of the day they worked on other jobs, mainly firewood, removing the trash in the little firewood shed and replacing it with dry stuff from “Monty’s shed” as well as collecting new wood.  Dinner was cooked at dusk and it was early to bed, sharing the hut with 2 hunters who haled from Auckland 

Then,  6:30am Saturday,  Anne C, Graham and  Simon W departed  in the HTC Club van from Te Aute Road, Havelock Nth.heading for the starting point at the Kaweka Lakes car park off the Napier – Taihape road. The purpose of the trip was to assist primarily with the relocation of the toilet at the Kiwi Saddle club hut.  This party carried some cleaning items, newspapers, ropes/pulleys and two spades.

The tramp started in light fog which cleared has they got higher. They experienced great views and light winds along the ridge tops. It would have been a miserable tramp in had we gone the weekend before with wet and windy weather. Just after midday this party arrived to the welcoming of the others who were on the lookout for them as  they came down the final ridge towards the Hut. A bite of lunch and a cuppa first, then assisting with the main task, shifting that loo !

The first party in had made a start on digging a pit. The task of further digging was shared by the later party. The pit ended up about two metres deep. Folk cut, sawed, nailed and made a rough plinth covered with dirt, from fallen tree branches, around the pit. Next the physical relocation of the toilet structure. It had to be shifted about 8 metres over slightly uneven ground and in between trees. Fortunately the 2 Auckland hunters at the hut and offered their help with the shift. With the use of a long rope and pulleys, lifting, heaving, grunting by all available folk, the loo was relocated within 30 minutes.

Folk took turns at carrying buckets of additional dirt and shingle to build up the ground around the loo and form a pathway to it. Others covered the old toilet site with dirt and branches. Other jobs that occurred in and around the hut included:  cleaning of spouting, laying of rat bait, cleaning hut foyer, gathering firewood,  cleaning out wood bin, building a rock step in front of the verandah,  spreading shingle outside around muddy parts of the hut and hut cleaning. 

The day ended with a glorious sunset which lit up the trees nearby the hut. The evening went by quickly. A good cook up, plenty of yarns and stories, star gazing,a warm fire and the addition of two women arriving late, making 11 folk in a 9 bunk hut.

The following day both HTC partys walked out together enjoying another crisp & sunny day. A great working bee !  Thank you to all who were able to assist.     

Parties: Glenda H, Peter B, Susan L, Janice L , Simon W, Anne C and Graeme H.

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