Tin Hut might’ve been dusty, musty and dirty but at least it was dry.

Not much else was except the walk down a 4WD road to the Ahuriri river.

I only came off the track once, speeding down the road instead of looking at a map, or, since I didn’t have one, my GPS to see where the track was supposed to go. So I missed meeting the people coming south. At least they alerted me to the whereabouts of the official track.

Crossing the major Ahuriri River was a task. First was getting down there, the official track was just too zany, down the crumbly gravel cliff, I went 200m further upstream where there was a bulldozed road. From way up you could pick out a good crossing point, over to the top of an island, then down to the bottom of the island to tackle the deeper and wider part.

Over to the island was easy enough, I had my solitary walking pole to assist, the bottom somewhat slippery but while flowing the river wasn’t so deep. I decided to continue across at that point. Halfway through the next section the flow increased, I realised my camera was less than secure, so retreated back to the island.

The original plan was successful but even so the undies came close to a rinse.

Don’t know what happens with shorter people but the river has risen with the recent rain. Probably if the river had gone up in any more significant way I would’ve been engaged in the 10 km diversion to a bridge downstream and back.

Speaking of rain that’s what it did off and on for the rest of the day. I trudged up the valley, the track not so well marked through the tussock for this last significant slow climb before Twizel.

I encountered and chatted to three more groups as I made my way along, hearing that the saddle is swampy, not so good camping, more than an hour further away and the better campsite another hour beyond, down at the tree line.

I’m finding with my minimal lunches I’m starting to lose interest in the walking after about five hours of actual walking. I bash on but today my enthusiasm departed. After 5pm I started to look for any old campsite.

There might be plenty of water around but not so many areas with short grass, level and lacking the lumpiness of your standard high country tussock paddock.

Eventually I stopped at the first suitable spot and waited for the rain to finish before I put up the tent. Actually before it stopped I spotted a solitary figure in the distance heading my way, it was Kirstine making haste. She stops for a chat, I can go on a bit, we both quickly get cold and she continues on, seems there’s still more hours in the day.

With the rain still about, and the cold, I’m up about 1400m here, it doesn’t take long before I’m in the tent, dinner scoffed even if the rain has stopped at the moment.

Damp, you could say that. And windy, ain’t much shelter out here.

It’s about 44 mostly easy kilometres to Twizel so there’s another night to go before restocking of supplies happens.

Big day tomorrow.

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