No hurry in the morning; after all, I had less than a kilometre to go.

But it was clearly sensible to stop early the day before as I was feeling refreshed after that long sleep and a double coffee dose. Ready to continue this adventure.

The tent guylines were knotted together, not quite to Boy Scout standard, and a short piece of branch on one end to hold my pack and prevent it from dropping all the way into the creek.

This worked for the first section. I slid the pack down, then followed.

The second section was longer, and my pack caught in some shrubbery, then abruptly dropped, with the cord immediately snapping and my pack tumbling at great pace through the vegetation until halted by some manuka.

I followed more circumspectly.

Okay, that rope was thin, and the pack weight was heavy.

My short Waratah flew off somewhere, but I managed to find it.

It wasn’t far to its destination, marking a point on the other side of the creek to suggest to others who followed me that it wasn’t an entirely crazy idea to drop down to the creek and then clamber up the ridiculously steep slope on the other side.

The pack did a third slide down to the creek edge and avoided the pack taking a bath. Then I was down.

That wasn’t as bad as I may have anticipated.

The other side was a bit worse.

I didn’t feel like climbing up the steep slope with little to cling onto, weighed down by the ridiculous lump on my back, so I heaved my pack ahead.

Some muttering was involved.

Eventually, I made it up to the start of the narrow ridge, and was able to bash the short Waratah into the ground. With the fluorescent orange capping, it will be visible from the other side.

It seemed worthwhile to trim the overgrown track along the ridge, and I worked on the section until it entered the forest. More hours went by.

After that effort, instead of pushing through bits of vegetation, the route actually looked vaguely like a track.

Then it was into the forest where, in some places, the vegetation was so thick I needed to work out where the route should be. Blue markers regularly appeared, and much of the route up through the forest was pretty clear, except where it wasn’t.

That part still needs a bit of work, and those loppers will be handy.

After a little creek crossing, the forest opened out, and I just had to march up the hill.

Terrific to make it back to the hut. It was bigger than I remembered from 2020, but I’ve visited West Coast bivvies subsequently. A damp dirt floor, but the roofing was sound. In the lockdown period someone had installed a clear polycarbonate window in the south elevation so it wasn’t required to prop the door open to get a modicum of light. But it’s still plenty dark inside.

Almost immediately after my arrival, the rain and wind followed. I needed some hot food for a late lunch.

I knew I’d be at the hut for three or more nights, so no rush.

Time to relax a little.

It had been quite the effort getting there.

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