Mount Perry was the heart starter for the day. That sidetrack starts not so far from the hut.

Blue sky was evident but not predominant. The weather forecast is superb, a massive high over Australia heading this way, always settled conditions with that.

The view was not the full 360°, maybe 240°, so the North Island was not visible, but up the Aorere Valley towards Cobb and around to the day’s future efforts, 6 1/2 hours of trackwork to come, with the day already well under way.

It was almost 11 am when my pack was loaded aboard my shoulders.

By the time Saxon Hut was reached the excursioners in the other direction had been passed, one complete with an umbrella.

That great weather not arriving as scheduled, in fact while not reaching the full definition of rain it was certainly wetting and the time was getting latish, 3 30 pm, with three hours more to go, at least, there’s not much point in procrastinating as usual on the trail.

But of course there’s always a compelling reason. Today it was to observe a stray snail, and, those type are worth a look whatever the weather conditions. There are a few endemic species that grow to a surprisingly large size and are carnivorous.


Yes, they stalk their prey. Snails.

Shortly after I saw another crossing the track in its imperceptible way.

Then there was another break for a quick conversation with Richard and his offsider, DOC blokes, working with a digger to reconstruct the track to a better level. It’s been 30 years since it has been seriously looked at. This time around it will be not far off Abel Tasman condition, ie, real good, only that currently it more closely approximates a WW1 trench complete with mud. Fortunately it only lasted a couple of kilometres before I crept up on my hut without realising, the track workers on their motorbikes quickly overtaking just before it popped into view.

The rain continued, so it was fortunate that with the hut only lightly populated I was able to whack the tent up under cover out on the porch. Just conked out.

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