Roebuck? 4.5 hours says the sign, no worries.

So I had my morning coffee, and then another chatting to the two gals, they left for Rocks at 9 am. I, well, sometime later.

The sun out, not a cloud apparent, a glorious day. I trudged back up the track, a climb 200 m in elevation back to the track junction and then another half hour before meeting Janine on the last legs of her South Island Te Araroa. Actually she doesn’t state it, but today is her last day in the bush, she’s finished the two short sharp climbs and the track is going to level out, tonight she’s at the road end, just some road travel down to Pelorus Bridge, Havelock, Anakiwa, then the popular Queen Charlotte Sound track and her two month solo adventure will be over and it’s back to Switzerland.

Her verdict: the Day 1 walk from Bluff to Invercargill on the road, not so good, indeed most of Southland was underwhelming, she said it took her 700 km to drop the standard city life level of tension and relax into the experience but the trail improving from Arthurs Pass northwards, no qualms about her solo Waiau Pass crossing despite having to turn back for a few days due to an unseasonal, ie, February, heavy snowfall. There’s plenty to talk about: Life, The Future, some philosophy, a few reminiscences, suddenly it was time for lunch, and eventually time to make our separate ways.

I love finding others who are just thrilled to be out having their Little Adventure, totally relaxed, totally happy, at peace with themselves in the world, optimistic, no cynicism, or self-doubt, sparkling eyes and radiant smile. Go gorgeous gal.

So it was slightly more than the regulation 4.5 hours when I spotted the sunny Roebuck hat, a huge billy goat munching on the grass just outside the hut door, I got to within 10 m before he eventually spotted me and bolted.

Yeah, Roebuck the nicest sited of these Pelorus huts, on a river flat just above the junction of the major tributary of the Pelorus River.

I have been going on about the lack of people in the huts in my travels over the last year and tonight eight teenagers crashed in. Some camping outside, the hut once again shared. I don’t think I’ll be talking much about solitude for a while, I’ve had consecutive nights with the close companionship staying in a hut offers.

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