The sun officially set at 5 07 pm last night, although it has disappeared behind the hills quite a while prior to that.

Adjusting to this has been easy enough. About that time two trampers turned up with the inspiration to go on to the bunk at Bark Bay. Much of that walking would be stumbling in the dark, but they claimed their headlights would be sufficient.

Later, after having revived my dehydrated meal and gobbled it, I lay in my sleeping bag.

Everything was accomplished for the day and thought I’d look at the time.

5 58 pm. Fully dark.

I was ready for a snooze.

No surprise that I awoke early in the morning and with nothing better to do followed the cricket commentary as New Zealand won the test championship. It was by no means an obvious conclusion when I joined. The champion team beat the team of champions.

Cloud on the horizon in the morning led to a spectacular crimson sunrise. No wind. The weather forecast was for hazy cloud, and so it eventuated. Reasonable conditions for carrying my pack up and down minor hills.

My wet tent encouraged early in action but it wasn’t going to get it too dry in the calm, damp conditions.

Two couples came past, on their way south. I’m pointed north.

The beach is different from the Abel Tasman brochure’s image now. Huge amounts of driftwood contribute to an unkempt appearance. Just like my beard growth.

A plane from the Motueka flight school insisted on practicing stalls, immediately above me. Cut the engine, gliding around, then starting again. It became repetitive, but eventually, they found another way to fill in their day.

As did I. Walking for me.

Once off the beach, not so bad once the tide was lower, the track was superb once again. A great deal of work has been put into cutting a higher track around the Awaroa houses, and it winds its way around, both horizontally and vertically. All good exercise and it offered great views north over Awaroa, and the inlet.

Full low tide on my arrival at the hut, and easy enough to zip across the mudflats in my jandals. The sticky bits were an issue, but by then the water had finished, about ankle-deep, and my boots came in useful.

A group of six middle-aged women had just arrived to join a younger solo female in crossing. Then two more headed towards the hut over the mud.

The walk to Waiharikiki is great. One of the more botanically interesting areas of the track. But I might have said that about elsewhere in the park.

No surprise I was once again on my own. Except for those pesky wekas.

Another early night beckons.

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