There were a few moments this morning wondering if I should just turn around and head back to Marahau, ie, hightail it back to Holyoake Clearing shelter tonight, cosy spot, then out on Sunday morning to catch a bus back to Nelson.

But doing that I’d never, probably, complete the Inland Track, and, knowing I was here primarily to document the walk for the website I better finish what I’d started.

The day’s biggest surprise was standing still high on the ridge and looking down on the huge curve of Farewell Spit. There’s a bunch of trees towards the end, but, man, it all looks so close. Maybe it’s bigger than it seems, that would certainly explain the lack of waves in Golden Bay.

The forest changes as you drop down from Awapoto through the red beech predominant forest, a few rimus and miro, through big rata trees, that big, big trees, humongous trees, is even a few patches of nikau palms.

Most of the time the track is downhill in a big way, means the South to North is really the direction to head, easier on the body to go up the benched track from Marahau, mostly, dropping down today involved swinging from the shrubbery, the knees aren’t what they used to be.

Not long after Pigeon Saddle the track bursts out into the open along the ridge, big views into the Wainui River and over to Kahurangi National Park. There’s more up and down, including up Gibbs Hill and eventually you hit the Whariwharangi track, and onto the end of the Coastal Track.

I kinda hoped had hoped to have three nights out there but I have another trip planned for a week or so, A bigger tramp over the hills from Nelson to St Arnaud, the Alpine Route it seems to be termed these days, timing dependent on the next period of settled weather. This was the shortest walk I’ve done in recent times but it’s blown away some of the cobwebs and I’m pleased I realised what I neglected to pack now rather than when I’m out there staggering up Mount Starveall. I’ll remember the stove and innersoles next time.
Sandflies: none.

The track: very dry, ie, almost perfect.

The weather: perfect.

The company: also perfect, ie, no one else around, they are all flocking on the Coastal Track, not many go Inland, getting that aerial perspective.

← Day 2 | Awapoto Hut, on my lonesome again