Still raining in the morning. Not always hard, but enough to keep me in the hut.

Getting over the saddle into the Robinson River would be a big day, and not much fun in continual rain, or even drizzle.

I listened to the 6 am news but following a dismal forecast for the North Island, the reception faded. Nothing for where I was stationed, just the usual daytime static.

Hmmm, better to go to my fallback weather assessment: today will be exactly the same as yesterday. This has a remarkably successful predictive ability, except for the 25% when it is catastrophically wrong.

About lunchtime it cleared up for half an hour, then the heaviest downpour for a while. By 3 pm there were some blue patches of sky, and the rain ceased for the remainder of the day’s daylight hours.

I wandered down to Lake Christabel, which is a surprising 2 km away, on one of the best tracks around. Flat, well-cut, not much foot traffic. Absolutely gorgeous red beech forest.

The lake was somewhat inaccessible, the river discharging immediately in front, and then the track climbed in the forest. The view back up the valley to the mountains was impressive.

One thing to consider: now that helicopter shooting of deer has been reducing numbers for more than 40 years the undergrowth in the forest is making a big comeback. What once was relatively easy to travel through, now was a thicket. Trackless travel in the valleys would be hard work, and even on the river flats, small shrubs, like various Coprosmas were also creating dense vegetation.

I am contemplating quite a few days making my own route in various big river valleys in the medium future. I don’t think the experience will be like Marlborough from a few weeks ago where the cattle had created easy paths that made walking relatively speedy.

At least the river was mostly down by the time I’d returned.

Two very relaxed days, well, as relaxed as you can be with the rain coming down.

Dunno. Maybe I’ll get a few days of fine weather. Fingers crossed.

But I’ll be having an early start tomorrow, to get to Top Robinson Hut.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Lake Christabel Hut

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