Wow, I’m not usually one to talk up my accommodation but Venus has gone 180º. This new hut, filled with light, insulated, double glazed, spacious, at least for someone on their lonesome, is everything the previous wasn’t.

Very similar in plan to Trevor Carter, without the DOC staff quarters added, but the site is fabbo, nestled on a small clearing with bush surrounds looking north over that pure green river.

It’s special.

Over the river are beech trees down to the water and up the ridge to the clouds.

Did I say it is Paradise?

Features include a water tank and a well stocked woodshed, mostly chainsawed to length and reasonably dry, an axe and 6lb log splitter also provided. Can’t walk past that.

The walking today was mostly pretty easy through big stands of red beech although there are some stretches on mossy rocks perched over the river. Overall as scenic as you would wish.

I spent a couple of hours fish counting, there are numerous deep green pools with those hovering trout, the water isn’t quite as transparent as previous days due to last night’s prolonged downpour, it’s up a bit but still clear enough for me to spot 11 ranging from the large to extra large, I guess it’s hard to tell exact sizing with something in the water swishing effortlessly back and forth. The first largish one I spooked getting too close, they have great eyesight, then I went on a tour of his watery kingdom, when I came back I was careful to keep way low to avoid being seen, the fish wasn’t on the other side of the rock, it was on mine in shallower water, 3m from my feet before it decided, languidly, to vacate for a second time.

Then three younger fry, long enough but not too deep in the body yet, came close enough to almost tickle before shooting off.

Then the rain came in, no more visibility, and I decided to sit in the dripping forest for a while, you can see how it gets so shaggy with all that lichen, plenty of precipitation round here.

The pool just below the hut is one of the slower flowing ones, just a delight, and of course another three trout were resident.

In between the rocky pools is a river of rounded boulders, often pink granite, with the green water it’s quite the sight.

Rave over, it’s all the reason I came down the Karamea, so pristine, so quiet.

There’s no one around.

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