Man, people everywhere.

Well, to start a cloudless morning which meant condensation and dew, ie, a wet tent.

Just a day of walking on various old 4WD tracks and some few kilometres on an actual gravel road. A warm day, and a fast pace so by the time I reached Manuka Hut I had a break for a while.

This all sounds most uninteresting and it’s hard to get enthusiastic crossing this much modified, by fire, sheep inhabited countryside. It’s relatively easy to cruise around to Double Hut, more overgrown 4WD track where I was surprised to see a 4WD. and three DOC workers were doing hut maintenance.

These two huts are somewhat similar to all the musterer’s huts, Manuka was built about 1922, Double a similar vintage, plenty of graffiti, like Ed Hillary’s signature from 1951.

We talked for a couple of hours, then another 4WD turned up, a spraying contractor, to add to the conversation and offer me a job, then an English couple, and later three SOBOs.

I’ve been on my lonesome for the last eight nights, back to the first night at Lake Pukaki, or even up at Pakituhi where I had my last evening conversations, so it’s strange to now be in my tent, sun gone down, talk still emanating from the hut.

It might have of been one of the least interesting, or demanding, days so far but I guess it turned out okay and the views of Lake Heron and Mt Arrowsmith from the hut made up the absence during the day of truly splendid views to which I’ve become accustomed.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Double Hut

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