Today seemed massive and I guess that with crossing the Rakaia and spending much of the day off my map it was huge.

Man, it was very foggy, low cloud, tent totally dripping, sleeping bag back to fully damp. After the two SOBOs left I spent more time with my Swiss friends from two weeks ago. They were in no hurry, heading to Methven for a food parcel, even so I left around the normal time, 8 30.

From up high I checked out a sensible route over the Rakaia, basically heading upstream for about 3km to where the river fanned out in a large number of braids, which, in fact, turned out to be a highly sensible route. The deepest braid was the last, all plenty strong but not much over the kneecap. For some reason I had little temptation to attempt to cross where the water was clearly with a bluish tinge. I did find a handy, chunky pole to assist with stability when getting through the powerful current, triangulation proved kind of useful.

Some relief that the three biggest river crossings were now over with, the Ahuriri, the Rangatata and the Rakaia, although suddenly I realised there was still the potentially difficult Taramakau coming up.

Then I found a decent farm road that took me for three hours over to the Wilberforce River crossing. This proved no issue at all as almost the entire flow is redirected into Lake Coleridge for hydroelectric power use.

Have to say that with the persistent cloud cover it’s been a very cold February day.

Should be able to crack out most of the Harper River route so I can hitch to Greymouth in a couple of days. Only 34 km to the highway from here.

Because today covered so much territory there is a day’s spare food supply to be eaten in the next 24 hours. Yippee.

I have been very hungry in recent days but should sleep very well tonight.

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