The following day we set off on the Routeburn track. The plan was to walk the Routeburn in two days, then return to Kinloch via the Caples track in another two. Our first day was great with sun shining and great views up the Routeburn valley. The “hut” we stayed at, Routeburn Falls, was absolutely massive – more of a lodge than a hut. Great location though looking out over the valley with some awesome waterfalls just behind the hut. On the downside through, my knee bunged out. This time it’s the right knee (the opposite knee to the one I injured in soccer earlier in the year). We almost decided to turn around but hoped that a nights rest would see it right. It wasn’t perfect the next day, but decided it was manageable and we pressed on. This was our longest day, clocking in at 12 hours – longer than expected with my limp. Weather was great in the morning up and over Harris’ Saddle, but turned a bit drizzly after we had reached Fiordland NP. Some really amazing spots along the way though, the highlight for me being Earland Falls, saw us through the day to Lake Howden Hut. A much smaller hut than Falls, we had a group of friendly international students from Europe and a great hut warden Mike who stayed up late with us having a good yarn. The next day was onto the Caples track, at which point the weather really packed in. It rained for most of the day making some of the ‘stream’ crossings more exciting than they needed to be. Walking through some beautiful forested areas made for pleasant enough walking though. Our final nights stay was at Upper Caples, a 12 bunk hut that was entirely full – nine of twelve being Czech family celebrating a birthday with course after course of amazing food (and cake!). Definitely made us look forward to getting back to civilisation and proper food again. Luckily we didn’t have long to wait with the final day being reasonably short with clear weather, but less spectacular scenery. All in all it was a great tramp, but I was very pleased to be back in Kinloch lodge with my own room and a gourmet meal for dinner.