And on the seventh day he rested.

I kinda felt some Old Man Disease coming on yesterday afternoon as I trudged my way up the Hawdon River, checking on my GPS every 600 m as to how far further was required to complete the day’s efforts, kinda counting down. Not my usual attitude.

I’ve been walking each day for the last six and while sometimes the distances haven’t been great, at least initially, the load could be deemed such, ie, great. I did a food inventory today and still have a week’s supply aboard, seven more dinners, maybe eight if I eke them out, breakfasts and lunch similarly ticked, or maybe a day or two extra there as well. The pack still feels heavy and the recent days have been longer distance-wise, 20 km yesterday, including the wrestle through Sudden Gorge, 25 km with that scoot across the Waimak the day before.

Two nights here will lessen the load slightly, and relieve the shoulders to some degree.

Bealey Hut and Sudden Creek Bivvy did not have wood burners and turning up here after 5pm hinted not to light one here, not much point when you have become accustomed to that early-to-bed-style of life, mostly what else is there to do, can write the day’s account from the sleeping bag and also fend off the coolness of that mountain air.

This hut is as good a place as any to hang out for a couple of nights. It’s a newish, 2007, serviced, well insulated, double glazed, actually a whole lot of glazing because there’s plenty to view, looking directly up to sunlight on Trudge Col and Rugged Peak, that indeed lives up to its name.

I’ve got the place to myself, at least for the moment. The hut book shows plenty make it up here during summer, there is some proximity to Christchurch and only the three hours walk from the car, fewer in the cooler months.

A day off gives plenty of time for day-off-type things, washing socks, underwear, body, having a shave, via Braille, wandering down to the river, picking up some dry wood for a fire tonight, drinking cups of milk made from excessive amounts of milk powder otherwise bought along for the ride, basically a whole lot of not much for the day, except respite from lugging that pack, and hanging around in somewhat luxurious conditions with a supremely spectacular view to soak up.

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