The blue duck/whio day.

I heard one calling on the river and, yes, there was it’s pair nearby. Neat.

Then, crossing the three wire bridge just below Julia Hut there was another pair foraging in Tumbledown Stream. I stayed on the bridge, well, actually the three wires, and waited as they came up just about underneath, they seem unconcerned about my presence. Their beaks were hard at work finding lunch, ducking into the water at regular intervals, their grey colouring perfect camouflage in the greywacke boulders but the white beak an indicator that they were indeed an animate object.

It had been raining overnight, drizzling as I left, so not really the day for going over the pass.

The old Julia Hut has recently been restored and was the perfect place to relax after yesterday’s efforts. The hut was built in 1958 from mostly chain sawn local timbers, not so big, but with a huge open fireplace, four bunks and a new skylight. There’s another six bunk hut nearby, the plainly named Julia Hut, sometime referred to as New Julia, built in the 1980s. Not that new and without the character of the old.

With the damp and cool conditions, the river up somewhat, it didn’t seem the moment to fully expose my body to the sandfly infestation and take the plunge in the hot pools that are close by.

There are various accounts of trips over Harman Pass from Carrington in the hut books, 12 hours according to one tired tramper, no track markers made it hard, on the other hand someone else said six hours.

Seems an early start is advisable in any case, I’ll be going down the steep bit but Carrington is around 800m so it’s not so far a drop as yesterday’s plunge.

Maybe the weather will clear overnight.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Old Julia Hut

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