Heavy rain much of the night, at least when I intermittently woke up, but all that stopped by about 6 15 am about when I sprang out of bed quietly.
I managed to make, and eat breakfast, and pack up before there was much movement, but as usual I didn’t get away until about 8 am.
It was a full day of walking over much of the Demon Trail. There’s lots of ups and downs, and plenty of following small watercourses after rain.
The DOC sign said six hours to Demon Trail Hut, and that proved about right in the conditions.
I sat around the vacant hut for a while. Went down to the beach.
The sun was now out so I could take my raincoat off.
The section down to the McKerrow Island Hut turnoff isn’t so far, and it was probably less vigorous up-and-down wise. A few more three-wire bridges to negotiate.
No surprise that when you are attempting to get to McKerrow Island Hut the island aspect is an issue.
The river crossing over part of the Hollyford River was clearly higher than when I crossed last time I was here, but I remembered the gravel bottom, the lack of current. I thought if it got too deep I could always return.
All my electronics were wrapped up inside my pack, that also had two pack liners expressly for this kind of experience.
The water level was well over my shorts, but they needed washing, as did my undies. The bottom of my shirt was also rinsed, almost to nipple height.
That river level should keep others out, I thought. Might have the hut to myself.
A strong wind chilled my soaked body, and then I found I needed another dip when the track went around onto a flooded beach.
Plenty of firewood on offer, so I grabbed enough to see me well supplied for the evening.
No one else home as expected.
I’m hoping the water level drops overnight, or at least doesn’t go up.
Yeah, that was the deepest river I’ve crossed since been back in New Zealand in the last five years, but its slow pace meant it wasn’t dangerous. Helps that I’m 189 cm tall, and a solid build.
Others might find this a different proposition.
In most New Zealand rivers of that depth are flowing with too much pace to cross safely.
The fire was soon blazing, and the woodburner radiating heat.
Not much point in fully drying out my clothing as I’ll repeat the dose in the morning.
Should sleep well with the lack of disturbances in the hut.