Long day getting here, a late start, blue sky, the river way down after the rain yesterday.

I didn’t even notice the walking that much, my GPS says it was 900m of incline.

Instead I was busily ruminating on my recent stay in St Arnaud, no major conclusion, the jury’s still out.

At the top of the first major rise I find I’m perched not so far from Nelson, my hometown, that’s where I’ve ridden my bike on a Sunday not so far down there. I fluff around for more than three hours up there, you get to 1500 m and for once the sun is out. I stop and find cellphone connectivity, whack out a few texts, sitting in the sun, and whack out a long email text that I later realise I’ll never send.

On the way down from the saddle there’s some extensive tracts of ugly boulders to cross, large dog sized, just stacked on top of each other, a few unstable, a lot of air underneath them, slow going for the less than agile, particularly going down the slope, but the traction is outstanding, patience is required, the consequences of a fall here rather savage.

The track has being significantly tidied up, trimmed in the lower parts to make walking a great deal easier. There’s been 100 new marker poles added, all the way from Porters Creek Hut over to Top Wairoa.

The major change with the boots of 300 TA trampers over the last year is that the tussock has taken a major thrashing, last year no foot trail was apparent, trail finding took concentration, this year with those new markers, well, it all seems quite straightforward.

I’m starting to relax.

Time to enjoy the last few days of TA.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Top Wairoa Hut

Top Wairoa Hut, Alpine Route, Mt Richmond Forest Park
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