Still cloudy, but no rain. That is a great situation for your average long-distance tramper.

None of the rivers I crossed were bridged, and water levels are an important determinant of accessibility.

Very quiet other than an early morning burst of birdsong. I’m no longer on the various flight paths into Christchurch that sometimes disturbed serenity in my previous summer Little Adventures.

More wandering up the increasingly steepening river valley. Most of the way a four-wheel-drive track presented itself, and while on occasion it was washed out, work had been done to indicate the least bouldery route of the alternatives on offer.

A few river crossings, and then some more.

Eventually, the four-wheel-drives could go no further, and a permolat marked trail appeared, and started steepening even more. Into beech forest instead of looking at it from the valley floor.

Again no one was at the hut, and unfortunately, when I sat on the bunk for a moment, shortly thereafter I was horizontal and was immediately asleep.

That meant that neither of the two walks on offer from the hut: a visit to Hanging Valley, or to Moraine Flat, were managed.

It’s a famous hut because it now has a bath, but this was unused due to, (a), lack of water, the water tanks were at fairly low tide, and, (b), the complete fire ban, and, ©, my feet were already soaking wet as the deepest river crossing was knee height.

It’s an impressive series of mountains as a backdrop. Massive cliffs and sharp peaks around.

I was contemplating a shortcut to Back Basin Hide, actually not so far away, but a note in the hutbook stated that while it was generally okay, there was a short sketchy section I would need to go down. These days I’m quite happy to avoid those.

Back to Basin Hut tomorrow.

It was a lovely leisurely day, suitably summery weather. Plenty of blue sky and puffy white clouds floated by.

Here’s hoping that will persist.

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