A two hour walk today, apparently, and for the second time running I took most of the day, peering into all the river pools. I’d leave my pack on the track and bush bash down to the river to spot more fish, but while it was fun clambering around and the river is so attractive, with the extra water from the last few night’s rain the fish were, mostly, not to be seen.

Later I met, much to both our surprise, another human, Sonja, who was racing up the valley, had come from Karamea Bend Hut this morning, aiming for Thor. That’s three days for me, I suddenly feel real slow, but, on the other hand, I’ve really got to know the Karamea, it’s not going to be a big blur, well until dementia sets in. I just had lunch at the big swing bridge, the funnest one around, getting its own wave set up, it’s mighty long. We talked for half an hour, she’s been on the Southern Circuit on Stewart Island, heading back down south for the Hollyford, we could have talked for hours except I still had the other half of my day’s walk to complete.

Down at the hut I ended up walking up the Crow River for a short distance, a few hundred metres there’s some large matai trees, a fine leaved Podocarp with impressive trunks, there’s also rimu etc, it’s West Coast style forest, this is a sunny river flat with a full array of species in evidence including black trunked red beech. It’s quite unlike the more shady areas of the valley I’d become accustomed to with just the silver and mountain beech dripping with lichen, not seeing direct sun for months to come.

There’s an under carpet of pig fern, Blechnum something of other, that has a vibrant green tinge.

Real nice.

Oh, I seem to have overachieved on that firebox once again, I closed everything down and it’s pumping out the BTUs. Double glazing and excessive insulation these days.

All in all a top day with a whole lot of not much.

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