Two weeks ago I was nestled into the Blue River Hut with the farmer and his two sons.

Seems a while ago now.

Time feels like it passes slowly out here.

Lots of things happen each day. But it always seems quicker if you go back over the same ground.

Everything is new, experienced for the first time while you travel.

Rest day today, and I just mucked around the local environs. Went for a walk to see the other huts that the whitebaiters inhabit, but mostly just from 1 September to 14 November, the extent of the legal season.

I went back to see what the river was like to cross at full high tide, of course not possible, you would need to go up to the three-wire bridge.

Gathered a huge load of firewood. Didn’t bother cutting it up, just popped it in the woodshed for future use by cold trampers.

There is surprisingly little wood on the beach, due to the lack of a big river bringing more down, unlike the huge piles at Gorge River where it would cover a supermarket car park.

Being such a deep bay with Awarua Point sticking out kilometres, the timber from the Hollyford River must go elsewhere. For such a wide valley the river is small. The Pyke, or a big glacier, must’ve come down here at some stage, but a bump, lateral moraine less than 100 m high sends it along the Alpine Fault right up to the head of Lake McKerrow/Whakatipu Waitai, not exactly the most direct route to the sea.

The weather forecast is clearly not good enough to go on that way.

A few major river crossings are un-bridged, the Pyke River itself, Barrier River, Diorite Stream, and then the Black Swamp.

36 hours of rain/showers are predicted from tomorrow night, and is more prudent to take advantage of all those three-wire bridges on the Hollyford.

I’m anticipating walking from Martins Bay Hut to Hokuri Hut in the rain. I think DOC has it as six hours.

I’ve managed to negotiate all the big rivers to date, except for the biggest, the Cascade River that I conquered on Day 5 on that quad bike atop the bucking bronco trailer. Hopefully the small ones won’t slow me down.

Actually the main task for the day was disinfecting my now continuously sodden boots, and rat proofing the hut after I saw a small face and large tail while in bed early on.

Here’s a dumb statement: I’m glad I have boots on that rocky terrain. The sandstone yesterday had great grip, but that roughness along the coast may have ripped less sturdy running shoes. Particularly when lugging a decent load.

This is one hut where people usually arrive late in the day that come from Olivine Hut, 37 km away, or from whence I appeared. Martin Bay Hut is 4 to 5 hours, and I’ll make an early-ish start to make use of the low tide, and maybe find some mussels along the way.

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