Re-walking the Kepler Track: in the different direction, I couldn’t help thinking what a difference a day makes, well, not as compared to yesterday, but as compared to last time I was here. Then there was a view, that hasn’t been at all apparent this time around, I believe there is a lake down there beneath the cottonwool. Even the Murchison mountains only appear at rare instances, and then they are whisked behind the grey mask.

Fortunately I have memory and that will have to do.

It’s misty, not much in the way of drizzle, as I take off back to civilisation, a somewhat tubby French guy had waited for me, then, I usher him ahead, he plants boot and is quickly lost into the fog, not to be seen again.

Later Mary, the English woman, catches, equally speedily zipping past, no pace in my downhill boots today.

Then, once in the forest, I start meeting today’s track starters, they puff past on their uphill grunt, 11 in total, a similar crop to yesterday, interspaced with three separate trainees for the Kepler Challenge, now only six weeks away, looking grim, serious, isn’t that meant to be fun.

I talk to one of the runners near the Control Gates, the end of the official trail, then she runs the last few hundred metres to the car park, jumps in her vehicular transportation and, phaff, she’s off.

I have the 3km trudge around the lake edge and don’t even care.

No rain today, it’s clearing up, actually there’s blue sky up there and it’s looking quite hopeful for the Milford Track Little Adventure that starts tomorrow.

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