More snow overnight, down to 400 m, but just a dusting. The temperature had certainly dropped.

It was sure pretty down at the lake edge, albeit with the sound accompaniment of a couple of Canada geese doing their raucous honking. The wind cut through my layers of woollen clothes and it didn’t look as if the sun would be sighted for the day.

The predicted heavy rain in a week’s time has motivated me to continue on rather than spending a day in the hut. Usually, I’m in no particular hurry, especially when in a well-appointed and warm hut, but I’m also not keen on a long day walking in heavy rain and what that may mean for stream crossings.

It’s clear that the heavy rain a few days ago had caused many of the tiny creeks to become impassable, however briefly. I’m not keen on getting trapped, like I was in Waitutu Hut a month or so ago.

I think after another week I will have had my fill of multi-day tramping, as it will be after this stint, and I might just have had sufficient to get the backcountry out of my system, well, until summer.

The return trip?

Well, at least I knew what was ahead. The bad couple of hours to begin, first on a slope with windfall crossings, then in the mud zone. That’s not so bad as it hasn’t been churned up. Also, there’s plenty of saplings underfoot, and it’s mostly solid.

The creeks, and Walker River were well down.

No faster on the return in time, but like all return trips it seemed a whole lot speedier.

My new two-person tent was the obvious accommodation for the night back in the camping ground. Officially the campsite is free.

No other tents around tonight, although a large campervan is down the hill.

Bizarrely, I bought two tents last year, and tonight will be my first night in the one I’ve bought for car camping. Next time I will know how to put it up.

Darkness is falling. Dinner has been eaten while sitting at the nearby picnic table.

I’m retiring to my new accommodations.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Monowai Campsite

This ground is not as flat as it looks. | Monowai Camping area
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