Early to rise in Fox Glacier, and quickly moved everything under shelter. The weather was looking threatening, but was holding out.

Not long after my tent was down, the rain did likewise. Might point out that my tent wasn’t dry, it suffers badly from condensation.

Down to the bus just as it arrived from Franz.

Onto the track at 11 am.

I really didn’t know what to expect. A track that cattle had been down.

Turned out to be well benched, and mostly quite wide. The forest with some huge mature rimu. Mostly pretty level.

That pack of mine certainly could be felt. I had thought up various scenarios about what to do with not having to carry all my food for this trip right from the start, but in the end it would be less difficult if I just carried it all to get me to the end of the Hollyford Track. No going back to Fox, or picking up posted supplies in Haast.

After an hour or so I was caught up by a hunter I had met earlier in the car park. We walked together for a while until I thought it time for lunch. Every now and again he turned around for a chat, and the rifle that was attached to the top of his pack was now pointed directly at my head.

He wasn’t interested in food, he strolled on. But I’m not one to sit around in huts for hours. I would prefer to hang out in the forest.

The track was generally in good nick, but it was fairly wet underfoot in places. The track is on the north side of the river so is on the shade of the range immediately to the north, so there is a huge forest of old man’s beard in places.

The river flats were thick with grass up to nipple height. Little deer sign; the helicopters have been busy.

John was in the hut, and had been for some time. We had an evening of conversation, mostly me asking a question, and John talking about his experiences as a deer culler in the 1960s. For instance, he had built the cableway over the Whitcombe River I had used a few years previously, and the second Cedar Flats Hut that was later extended.

Eventually, near midnight we went to bed. Man, I was tired.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Horseshoe Flat Hut

Yup, another NZFS SF 70 hut, one of hundreds in the South Island. | Horseshoe Flats Hut, Moeraki Valley Trail
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