You can tell the seasoned traveller by the fact that when they spot a picnic table they can stop and make the most of the amenity. I’m at the Tent Camp attempting to catch up on yesterday’s adventures.

I didn’t get into Fenella last night until after 7 pm and with my first brush with humanity for four days I didn’t get a chance to do my usual, on-the-day blog writing.

After having guzzled at least 3 litres of water and eaten dinner it was time to get horizontal.

With six people in the 12 bunk hut, I decided the tent was the place to be so found a small space to whack it up and collapse.

After an hour my sleeping mat had deflated sufficiently to leave me lying directly on the ground and I found I was getting usual dehydration-style cramp. Quickly into the Vegemite but with major issues of having to blow the sleeping mat up I moved into the hut, and mattress, for most of the night.

So. What happened on the day?

I had my usual slow start breakfast and finally left Lonely Lake about 9 am. It was a cracker day and I have to say it was one of the most dramatic scenery-wise and demanding, physically-wise of my tramping career. Great views in every direction, even back to Mt Richmond and Fishtail in behind Nelson.

There was over 800 m of climbing involved and a drop of 180 m so it was at least 1000 m descent.

There were a few hairy climbs with hand and feet holds required, a classic clay and rock, variously dinner plate or marble scree slope with a huge drop-off, about 150 m under Kakapo Peak giving seven minutes of heart palpitations as I crossed.

Maybe the last basin would normally be the worst but I was thirsty beyond caring at that point, I was dancing along the rock, who cared about any drop-off.

I could rant at great length about how you wait for much of a lifetime for such great days when it all comes together: the challenge, the views, the weather.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Fenella Hut

The hut is bigger than it looks from here. |  Fenella Hut, Kahurangi National Park
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