You might have guessed I made it across the river safely this morning.

The rain had come down solidly for about 14 hours, stopping just before dawn and the sky had started to clear up somewhat. I was of course apprehensive about the river but it all seemed calmer than last night. Concerned I might be required to swim the river after last night’s effort I inflated all my plastic bags, and considered the prospect of rafting across on my pack, but it all proved unnecessary, despite the night’s deluge the water was just over knee deep, actually way down on what I encountered the first time around.

Wet feet for the day, I’m scared to look at what’s happening down there with all the immersion over the last few weeks.

I found today’s flat track, at least for the first section to the Pyke River, more of a pain than the infamous Demon Trail from yesterday, lots of slimy rocks, muddy track, wet track, but who cares, this is the last of the standard tramping track really, once over the Pyke again on the suspension bridge it’s back on the manicured, fully benched track and you can really crank out the distance on that.

No evidence in the Lake Alabaster Hut book of the two guys from Big Bay Hut who left on what turned out to be the worst of the days to conquer the Pyke, they were supposed to come through a few days ago, or Dave for that matter, who might be coming through today. Did they turn back, or did they press their button on the EPIRB and get a scenic flight. Perhaps I’ll investigate in Te Anau.

After all this rain I go down to the lake, that’s Lake Alabaster, to investigate the water height and I guess it should be no surprise that after the recent rain the lake level is considerably higher, my guess is that it’s at least 600 mm above where it was when I skirted the lake all those days ago. There’s no way getting around the lake would be so easy if I was leaving today.

Then, déjà vu all over again.

I arrive at the Hidden Falls Hut and there’s two groups of two hunters ensconced this time. Being near the road end that meant the hut was strewn with various belongings, not much space for even my near empty pack, every horizontal surface covered, excepting an area on the top bunk.

At least the fishing rods, weapons and boots were left outside on the verandah.

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