Awoke to light rain, that soon turned into heavy rain.


Having shut my eyes sign time after 8 pm, I woke early and listened to the mountain weather forecast. Man, it was not sounding good for the next three days. Certainly not great if I needed to be in a tent.

By 10 am I was packed up and off.

The rain had become drizzle, and I can cope with that.

There was only about 10 km to Magdalen Hut, mostly on a farm road. And nothing like dampness to encourage movement.

Not at all like summer, although the temperature wasn’t so bad. The hills were draped in clouds.

I gave some cattle and calves some noisy exercise. Then instead walking all the way to the St Andrews Homestead, I cut across country.

The drizzle was now officially heavy drizzle.

I was skirting the bush and was somewhat surprised to see three red deer make a sprint for the shrubbery.

The last 500 m was making a beeline for the hut through the regrowth forest.

First, I had to negotiate an electric fence. Meanwhile I found my crutch caught on the barbed wire. Then I was crashing through the dripping, dense shrubbery. The red beech is making a comeback and the saplings form a considerable barrier. Fortunately stray cattle had smashed a few trails I could follow, while navigating via GPS. Very, very wet as I forced my way through.

Yea. Thanks to the GPS I stumbled into the hut. Two Polish trampers were having a rest day. Some good discussion was had.

Later two older Kiwis turned up. Five people in the six bunk hut. Still damp, although any rain had stopped. Steamy.

Good to have some human companionship after a couple of nights by myself at Steyning Hut. I can cope with solitude for a night or two. A week or two.

The weather will hopefully brighten up tomorrow.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Magdalen Hut

Magdalen Hut, St James Walkway
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