Highlight of the day was early on, another glorious day, a royal spoonbill did a fly by, then started elegantly shovelling in the adjacent creek, very interesting to see it so closely at work.

Man, that sleep was good, on the most comfy mattress, deep pine needles, the best since I left my own back in Nelson.

But somehow in the last while I bruised my right heel, all that road walking no doubt. It’s not helped by the additional load I’m now lugging, by the time I added 2kg of spaghetti at Riverton at lunchtime, there was now about 18 days food abroad, more than my Stewart Island venture, as well as a bundle of battery chargers added at Invercargill, together with a few more bits and pieces.

I really had worked out how far I can get on a consistent basis. In the last week since I left Doughboy I’ve had 14, 29, 26, 37, 0, 20 km and today 16 which makes 142 km in a week with one day off. I’m not sure I can keep up 20 km average week after week. I’m not too concerned.

When I saw today’s campsite, maybe a little early at 5pm, it met a few important criteria: water nearby, flat, but most of all just an outstanding coastal site, just opposite Yankee River on Stewart Island that looms large on this fantastic day. Even Codfish Island could be seen, it’s so calm there’s a real haze about. Better to camp here in Paradise on my lonesome than struggle on to be surrounded by people, car doors slamming and all night lighting.

Tomorrow I leave this coast, it’s been all west so far, and I strike directly north.

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