Oh, not looking good first up, rain lashing the small hut. I joked that it should be clear by 11 am and it was certainly brighter with a lot of low cloud cleared.

Flo decided to take an early morning plunge in the tarn, I could see by the weed that it was only inches deep in places, probably some mud but he came back dripping and grinning, it sure ain’t tropical. My ablutions are rather more modest, attended to with a damp face cloth, not quite as rigorous as Flo but, after all, we are up in the mountains and in this instance the smell of the mouse urine on the hessian on the bunks in the hut is overpowering. Someone wrote in the hut book that a weka had attended to an earlier mouse plague, I’ve heard one calling nearby. Well, there are certainly no mice left.

We had a leisurely breakfast, and extra coffee for me, talking about life and photography. what else can you do in a hut that advertises itself as four bunk, but is often described as built for hobbits, both of us are around the 189 cm mark. He is a professional photographer, specialising in images of hotel interiors, and found he can get by, including his 10 weeks in New Zealand, by working 80 days this year. Last year he was in Patagonia, but he is happy to have less solitary holidays, canoeing in Sweden for instance, more often with his girlfriend.

After our day in Takaka where we chatted briefly we felt we knew each other well enough. Flo packed just in case of a weather change, a short shower then it looked much better, he was off and I was back on my own.

There were two hut books to get through, some familiar names and various stories of real adventures getting from Lonely Lake Hut to Adelaide Tarn.

There’s two options: the famous and demanding High Route which has some rock scrambling as they say, hand and foot holds and dragging yourself up, or down grabbing onto various bits of stray vegetation, a rope apparently comes in handy for hauling your pack up some of the bluffs.

I am planning on the Low Route, more modest, and requiring a drop down to the Anatoki River valley and then a long haul back up the hill called Drunken Sailor. I’m thinking of camping in the Anatoki River valley near a surveyed Point 744 where others have camped previously. The hut books had a few tales of coming off the unmarked trail, taking two nights out, sometimes in the rain but there aren’t a huge number of people coming through for some reason.

About dinner time there’s blue sky, I wandered around the lake and then, in my jandals I went a fair way up behind the hut.

Looks like it’s clearing up, right on schedule.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Adelaide Tarn Hut

It's sure a great setting. |  Adelaide Tarn Hut, Kahurangi National Park
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