Actually it never drizzled last night, that was just the sound of the sandflies trying get into the tent.

It took about half an hour but eventually I was the solitary living occupant to the tent, 200 sandflies or so dispatched, the first time on this trip that I’ve had so much interest by them.

Much of the day was spent wandering up the Taramakau River, easy enough, much was over grass and then the short climb to the Harper Pass, 300m vertical gain from the swing bridge, doesn’t seem much these days even if it’s the sharpest climb on Te Araroa for a good while.

I came across a big nine trampers heading south, the most in one day, after the seven yesterday, they are coming thick and fast.

There was a group of six in Kiwi Hut, I had the impression that for one or two it was a social thing, they just joined in with someone they had met, but on the whole many have come specifically to walk TA.

Nothing much to report other than getting back into the swing of TA, the break to Greymouth to prove quite disruptive, although the strenuousness of my Harman Pass diversion, loaded with 11 days food, may have contributed.

I made it to Harper Pass Bivvy by 5 30 and had the usual cook up, soup and spag. Then a hunter turned up, and later the last of the SOBOs for the day, who is happy to set up camp in his tent at the back of the hut.

I have stayed here twice before. Despite the numbers passing through on TA the hut had only been inhabited on six nights in the last two months. Strange that three people converged on it, but the hunter is experienced in sharing and it’s no big deal.

Morning time now finishing this off, still dark at 6 15am but it’s time to get up.

The weather is supposed to be clearing after a misty, low cloud type day yesterday, and I’m feeling frisky.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Harper Pass Bivvy

Harper Pass bivvy, Harper Pass route, North Canterbury
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