7 am. Steaming coffee. All is right with the world.

The lake is calm. Too dark still to pick out any colours. The hills on the other side of the still water are almost black, slightly lighter when reflected in the water.

Birds are singing, keeping up their spirits in the early morning dampness.

Since I was here at Christmas the trees and shrubs have been trimmed to give a view of the water that is only 20 m or so from the hut.

A tinge of green appears slowly to the close by foliage. The ridges get lighter as they line up away to the distance.

No noise now my porridge has finished cooking. Just the scratch of pencil on paper.

Complete serenity.

The other couple still noiseless, perhaps they died in the night.

Down here at the lake there is no real need to light a fire, in any case it’s a massive cavern of a room. Still, plumes of breath can be achieved as if I’d suddenly taken up vaping.

Despite my early start I was in no particular hurry. Sat reading my book and drinking more coffee.

The others got up, did their thing, and were away. They were going home to Christchurch, but I only needed to wander the five hours up the hill to Speargrass Hut.

In the end it was after an early lunch around 12 noon before my boots were on, and my walking pole in hand.

After the fun of the previous days it was just an afternoon trudge in misty drizzle. Plod on.

Just at the top of the ridge, less than half an hour from the hut I found I had reception with the rest of the world, so sat until it was almost dark, reconnecting.

The hut was certainly dark and empty. Yay!!

Time to eat the last of my food, and slide into my sleeping bag. Even a five hour afternoon wander had me sleepy enough.

So much for reading my book.

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