The wind blew strongly all night, and that meant my tent was condensation and dew free in the morning.

No great hurry but there was a bit to do. My broken pack clip was replaced. A few days’ food was added to my pack.

Breakfast completed.

I spoke to the two remaining Te Araroa trampers heading in the same direction as me for a while, but they were even more laggardly than me, so, eventually, I strode off up the valley.

Soon I was walking over the bridge I slept under when I couldn’t find the campsite when I was on Te Araroa myself back seven years ago. It was raining back then.

The farm road up the Harper valley has been inexplicably locked off to trampers, and mountain bikes as well for that matter. Instead, we have to walk on a poled route alongside the Harper River. It’s a big wide valley, but instead of smashing it out on the road, it’s river gravel underfoot.

I had a lunch stop at the Avoca River track turnoff, having that late start, and spending time conversing with the five SOBO trampers on Te Araroa that I ran across. They were all section hikers, although one couple were heading all the way to Bluff. Average age: approaching 60.

I wandered past the old Forest Research Institute buildings used as the base camp when they experimented with various exotic conifer species back in the 1970s and 80s.

It’s just a continuous slow climb up the Avoca Valley. You might think it is just a gentle slope, but when looking back it’s quite a gradient. Guess that will make it easier on the return trip.

Two crossings of the Avoca River required, so once again my feet were rinsed.

No one in Basin Hut, and no one had visited in the previous week.

Not much to report for the day, just a lot of relatively easy walking alongside two rivers.

I can cope with that for a while.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Basins Hut

A large open porch on the north and east elevations. | Basins Hut, Craigieburn Forest Park
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