A quiet night, no late night disturbances.

No great hurry, it was around 9 30 when I got away.

The river was low, needing two crossings, splashing through without getting my boots wet, the valley never logged beech forest, what the whole park was once like. Easy and enjoyable walking in excellent forest. Not so many birds but I found out when I began my climb that they weren’t hanging around on the valley floor. When I started climbing suddenly there was plenty of birdsong and what I thought sounded like kakariki, parakeets. Good just to sit in the forest for a while.

Suddenly I was joined by a weka, and then another one was moving up on the other side by the sound of it, except it turned out to be a lonely goat.

Project Janzoon is an extraordinary partnership between DOC and a wealthy family that is aimed at completely eliminating introduced pests from the Abel Tasman National Park. Millions are being spent on stoat/rat traps, with cats, deer and possums also culled to extinction. And goats. They are gregarious animals and I must have been some of the only company around.

After a few days, and finally just my own companionship for a night, I was starting to get back into the swing of this tramping thing. But as I have already pointed out I was well loaded, having been buying various food items during the year and the agglomeration meant I was still crazily carrying about 10 day’s food. It had been in my pantry, no point in buying it again over in Takaka, might as well lug it.

No wonder I was sleeping soundly.

Eventually I burst out into farmland on a ridge, the sea way below, Farewell Spit visible in the humidity haze, the pine trees near the tip a distinct patch of dark colour, the whole coastline around to Pakawau, Takaka itself behind a hill, but around to the left I was looking straight up the Anatoki Valley and at the head were the Dragons Teeth in full dental display. I will be going up near there in a few days but they sure look fearsome. It was a great place to get an idea of the terrain to come.

I was up around 800 m so the view really was outstanding, the patchwork of farms below, but that meant I had a long way to drop to civilisation, on a gravel farmhouse road. It was a slow plod with a different set of muscles in use, ones not yet entirely sore.

They were by the time I was stretched out in my tent, although I confess after an hour or so of descent I did get a ride from a kindly IT guy who had been working at a yoga retreat, taking me to the front door.

Well, there’s civilisation in store for two nights before I head out on the next Little Adventure.

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