Having made the effort to finally get back to the bivvy, because although DOC refers to it as a hut, it is very similar to other bivvies around, it makes sense to hang around for the day to appreciate my surroundings.

The bivvy is comfortable enough for one, or a couple, although sweeping the floor with a makeshift broom from a green-leaved beech tree cutting helped in the cleanliness department. I searched around for better water, but in the end settled for walking upstream on Burn Creek until I could scramble down to the actual water. A minor expedition. The clear flowing water seemed greatly superior to the funky murkiness dribble elsewhere. It hasn’t rained for a while.

After lunch I thought it worth trying some track cutting, but there was only a blunt bowsaw or a blunter axe. I took the saw. The saw was tested on various mountain beach branches that were encroaching on the track, but I had my sights on the stretch of regenerating beech between the tiny last stream crossing and the hut. That kept me occupied for a couple of hours, and exercising different muscles from my legs. It’s kinda nice that the last few hundred metres is easier, and doesn’t require smashing through dense foliage. Now only 9.8 km to go.

Last night, just on dusk, I watched as four deer cruised past the hut, although on the other side of the river. Half an hour later two more followed. Now that was a thrill. Nice to observe deer mooching about for an extended period, and all while I was sitting on my bunk.

Tonight, it was a different show. A chamois right at my level looked at me inside the hut for a while, then took off up the hill at a tremendous rate, climbing 200 m in a matter of minutes. That certainly topped the two deer that appeared on the slope for about ten minutes, mostly regarding the open door of the bivvy.

Great to see such big animals so close for an extended period.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Burn Creek Hut

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