No particular hurry this morning. It had been a big day yesterday, and probably a bigger one coming up tomorrow.
Just going down the Jollie Brook, and then an hour up Cold Stream.
It was after 9 am when I left, despite getting up before 6 am.
My boots had been drying out for a few days, but that was little comfort as there were two immediate river crossings. And that’s how the morning progressed. Chopping and changing from riverbank to bank.
The grass was easy, but there was also plenty of tutu and matagouri to wind between on a generally well marked track.
When I made it down to Cold Stream I spotted a marker on the other side of the river. Oh, it didn’t see much of a track, like the bench track in the upper Jollie Brook.
A sign stated one hour to the hut, but it was one of those hours that Passes slowly as I crashed through chest high tutu. Fortunately it is fairly flimsy as a shrub, but it does block a view of feet.
If I was in the right groove it was just a case of smashing on, but there was a lot of travelling directly up the shallow, but very slippery creek.
Eventually a few orange DOC markers came into view, but without cattle in the valley it all seemed hard work.
Wasn’t long after lunch that I finally arrived.
Not the easy one hour stroll I’d anticipated.
I was the first inhabitant for the year according to the hut book, but it did look as if a group of five had traversed the tutu yesterday, putting their names but no details in the Jollie Brook Hut book.
Despite the name Cold Stream, I have to say it was very warm day, and the water was tepid. I was a sweaty bundle on arrival, and made the most of the tiny pool slightly upstream.
I did feel as if I’d done a full day’s work, but when I looked at my official progress I found it was just 8.0 km in two hours 23 minutes. Pretty much exactly the 2.5 hours shown on my map. I’m not a speed demon.
That doesn’t augur well for getting to Hurunui Hut tomorrow as it is five hours out to the Sisters Swingbridge, and then probably another 25 km on the four-wheel-drive track to her Hurunui Hut.
That’s a huge day.
Guess it’s what I’ve been training for over the summer.