Camping under trees is a great idea on these clear nights to keep the tent from getting overly soaked by dew, I even had the side of the tent open to reduce condensation and that seemed to function.

It’s refreshing to be out of that zany Queenstown holiday/suburban zone, major housing and other building development underway, a beautiful area but entirely reliant on the flow of tourism.

A couple of days ago, realising my location, a friend rang and offered the hospitality of his friends who live in Arrowtown but after my Queenstown experience I was keen to be back moving, somewhat concerned that if I succumb to normal life for even a night, ie, splendid food, maybe just varied food, and a comfortable bed, that I’d reconsider this Grand Tour, just finish quickly with the assistance of motorised transportation.

I’m motivated, determined, resilient and just plain pigheaded enough to bash out some more of the trail even though sitting here, eating breakfast, I’ve just too much exposed flesh for this swarm of sandflies that usually have a place to themselves.

As it turned out I failed to read this the map this morning and while I was up early I started up the wrong valley and hence missed the shelter which may have advised me to just bash up the river not to use the high, little used, overgrown flood track which proceeded to slow me down considerably. Just as I was at the end of that section eight others, including two on TA, raced on down the river, way down below me. Still, I kept my feet dry, which, when your boots are disintegrating isn’t such a bad thing.

Met two more SOBOs, Amelie and Anthony, who were making good pace as I cruised down to Roses Hut. They said that on Day 115 from Cape Reinga they were feeling tired and had to finish in 14 days. At the rate they made progress up the hill that seemed likely, despite me having covered the distance in 20 days.

Have to say today was more pleasant despite all day sun. The shade lasted a while in the morning and as I neared Roses Pass the wind came up to provide some refreshment.

I arrived at my accommodation a bit early but there’s another 600m climb first up, I’m leaving that until tomorrow. Looking forward to a non-deflating mattress tonight, this is the first night I’ve had a hut since I was at Careys Hut a week ago.

Last night there were 10 in here and another guy camped outside.

Tonight, let’s do the count.

One.

Me.

And ain’t that the way I like it.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Roses Hut

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