Yesterday was one of those beautiful out-of-the-box days, and taking to my tent was an obvious choice. My small patch of Hieracium led to a very comfortable night.

I took my breakfast up to the hut for some more splendid human interaction, and was offered another round of coffee.

Nick scanned the tops with his heat-detecting rangefinder and found three stags on a ridge that was 1.3 km away. His powerful binoculars showed the velvety antler buds, up away from the sandflies that enjoy the blood-rich velvet. An amazing sight. Actually, I didn’t see any sandflies, in either location.

Today was another perfect day weather-wise. I slowly wandered back down the valley after 11 am, having lunch at the large clearing.

A great day’s walk, and I can report that is a pretty easy valley to access.

The hut where I was about to have my third night was empty, but someone had stayed the intervening night, and left me a warm can of Christmas beer.

Nice one.

Just a fantastic day, one of the reasons tramping is a great way to spend time.

Conversation. Blue skies. Deer on the ridge.

Then a straightforward walk down the valley.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Bottom Misery Hut

Bottom Misery Hut is right on the junction of the Branch River and Misery Stream.  |  Bottom Misery Hut, Branch River, Marlborough
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