30°+ C. The best day of summer.
No clouds, just that big deep blue sky.
My motivation left me. My body must be trying to tell me something.
I had an evening with a young French philosopher, working through how he can transform the ultra-lightweight philosophy of his walk, he was of considering abandoning his cooker to save weight, to his life beyond.
How much stuff do you really need?
He was gonna turf out everything that was no longer needed, he thought.
I’m no minimalist in my tramping life. Many would think the opposite: a little kettle, two cups, maps for plenty of places I’m not going now on this trip, a huge sleeping mat bought for bike touring, total winter sleeping bag, cold weather clothes, etc.
Oh, the two cameras, GPS and all the batteries, rechargers and electronic paraphernalia.
My pack is bulging even when there is little food.
The philosopher departs for the material delights of St Arnaud and I am left on my lonesome. Soon I pack up and depart, the track sidles around the Red Hills, down to the upper Motueka River valley, crossing the river, then up and down over the tributaries.
The day was cloudless, looks like summer is finally here.
Maybe I started with grand ambition, but that didn’t last long. I sat at the river crossing, the site of the old Maitland Hut for an hour. Then drank copiously at each stream.
Lucky I don’t wear a watch.
I just had the feeling, this is my summer, soak it up.
A French couple were in the hut, and I decided to have a quiet night in my tent. Two fast-moving Canadians arrived, and then a solo German.
The tent seemed the right move.