I was up before the sun. The moon was out, stars could be seen.

But wasn’t this supposed to be the rainy day?

Seemed the weather had other plans.

I kept mine.

An early start to make the most of this unexpected lack of rain. It’s super easy walking up to Lake McKerrow/Whakatipu Waitai on a Great Walks standard track. That’s one bit of track that the Hollyford jet boaters smash out, ie, they walk the easy bit, then jet boat along the lake, ie, avoid the hard bit.

After that you follow around the stones on the beach for an hour. Something familiar!!

I thought I’d probably move onto Demon Trail Hut if I could get to Hokuri Hut by 12 pm. Or even 1 pm.

It was all going well, lunch finished, and then two people with things in the hut arrived back from a swim. They were heading for Martins Bay, just four hours away.

The sign to Demon Trail Hut stated six hours. Yeah, that would be quite a big day.

Anyway I talked with the people for an hour, by which time it was clouded over and started to look threatening.

Why was I hurrying on again?

The other two left, and I decided to stick around. Immediately two others arrived from Demon Trail Hut, then two more. Looks like there will be six of us in the hut tonight.

You can sense I’m uninspired here.

The others play some complicated card game.

So, here am my spending time in a hut once again with others.

The first two who arrived turned out to be a couple from the USA. They are off to Norway next, but not the fjords. Not going to Milford Sound either. They have a car, and will be out with most of the afternoon to spare.

“That’s like driving to within 30 km of the Grand Canyon, not paying it a visit.” I suggested.

Yeah, well they hadn’t seen that either.

A Frenchman is enthusiastic and lights a fire with the wood I bought up from the beach. He is industrious, has had his two years in Australia, and is halfway through a year in New Zealand. Walked the North West Circuit, and worked here as a beekeeper for a few months.

I like him. He is busy as a bee.

Then an Israeli with an astonishing stutter turns up. He has a loud voice, and wants to join in on every conversation, but each sentence, stuttered at volume, takes about two minutes to emerge, by which time everyone else’s mind is a long way down the track.

A conversation killer.

Then another American guy arrived. He spoke about the botanical wonders of the hookgrass seed. That was an interesting observation. He seemed all-round decent, and we discussed different aspects of earthquakes, as he lived in Alaska.

As I slid into my sleeping bag the drizzle that had been falling since about 4 pm really started coming down.

I wasn’t the first to bed, and some collapsed instantaneously to sleep.

All the fresh air, you know.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Hokuri Hut

No view of the lake but you do get those big trees. | Hokuri Hut, Hollyford Track
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