This tramp was arranged with Bob, in generality, sometime ago, the particular date not precisely defined, but it’s all worked out that today is the day.

Fierce arrangement of the provisions last night, I’m intending to march directly onto the Routeburn after the Milford, then the Greenstone/Caples circuit. While I could’ve been clever and orchestrated a food drop from Milford Sound, avoiding lugging the bulk and weight of 14 days’ food over MacKinnon pass, well, I thought rather less than optimistically about how many ways we could fail to be reacquainted, ie, me and my food for the next stages, and, in the end, rather than dividing it up, now and later, I’ve just bunged the full complement aboard. What’s the problem with some senseless extra baggage for a few days?

There’s an early pick up and off to the boat for the two hour journey up the lake. I’m travelling with Bob, my host and Jutta, a gorgeous German gal I met at Iris Burn Hut a few nights ago, and another 18 boat patrons.

Once on land eleven blast off to jump a hut, there’s a total of ten in the hut tonight, and will be sharing accommodation for the next two nights. There are a preponderance of Germans, Jutta and Ann-Kathryn join the English speakers, a foursome clique of Germans take control of one of the corners of the living room pavilion. That leaves a stray Irish couple, Simon and Marie to make up the complement.

The fire is cranked up, the rain is coming down, 150 mm expected before breakfast, and all is right with the world.

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