The others were up early and heading up the valley to the pass.

I’ve read in the hut book about three whio/blue ducks downstream, and thought I’d wander my way back and see if I could spot them instead.

Somehow the thought of adding a couple of hours to my day by heading up the valley wasn’t all that enticing. Five hours doesn’t seem too extreme, but this was going to be my fourth five-hour day in a row. My body was not used to such energy expenditure in recent months.

To be truthful, it’s not straight walking. Plenty of quite steep ups and downs. Even the bed of the Edwards River doesn’t allow an easy gait. You are always too intent on finding sound foot placement when boulder hopping.

Five hours of slog takes it out of you.

Travelling back over the same path, as is common in this park with few circuits, and none come back to the place of departure, is a way to get everything in perspective.

Tired? For sure.

After a bite to eat back at the village, and a chat to the two keas, it was time to move off and spend my first night in my new tent. It has functioned splendidly as a pillow. Maybe about time to put it to its intended use.

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