Rain during the night, but I was in a warm dry hut with the knowledge I wouldn’t need to move for the day.

Still dark at 7 am, of course, and I watched the skies lighten and the river rise about 800 mm over the next couple of hours. No more rain, and after 10 am the Karamea River was going down once again, although not as speedily as it came up.

I fussed around while airing my slightly wet gear, turning my two pack liners over, then inside out, etc. Moving my boots around, etc.

By the time two women trampers arrived about 11 30 am, I thought it was time for an early lunch as well, and we sat on the veranda in the now blazing sun while exchanging advice about Roaring Lion and the Cascade Coast from me, and Baton Saddle and Flanagans Hut from them.

Apparently, there were 26 people in Salisbury Lodge on Saturday night, so I’m glad I timed my visit. But my visitors didn’t stay long. Venus Hut wasn’t going to be sufficient distance for the day, and they were trying for Thor Hut, another two hours on.

My approach to tramping in the last few years is that I’m unlikely to return, and should make the most of the experience. It’s very hard to return to a track, in fact, I found I hadn’t stayed at Crow Hut since 2017, which is now getting towards five years, and I class this is one of my favourite tramps.

Instead of continuing on, or back, with my pack on my back, I chopped some kindling and did have a second lunch, this time with rice and dehydrated apples.

Now puffy clouds blew from the southwest in plenty of blue sky.

The big task for the afternoon was to have a shave, so I didn’t end up looking like Robinson Crusoe.

Full blue sky. The sun beamed down, and I crashed around in the extraordinary forest behind the hut for a while, chasing after deer that also appreciated the location.

No need to go anywhere else today. It’s taken me almost a week to get here, so might as well enjoy the most pleasant of huts.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Crow Hut

Crow Hut, Kahurangi National Park 4
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