More zip in my step today. Mainly because I really wanted to get to Forbes Hut, with a mattress and table for once.

Just as I left my campsite a chopper spotted me, and cruised down for a chat.

Once again I acknowledged my lack of etiquette in just barging through the property, but this was accepted with good grace. He was moving cattle and had just dropped off dogs to get the cattle through a gate. Remarkable to see him at work. He sure knew how to get the cattle going across the steep countryside where he wanted them.

It was another fairly up-and-down day but not as demanding with the climbs as the last few.

Make that all the days I’d been walking since I left Blenheim.

The valley has widened out become considerably drier.

I met the pilot’s wife droving a few cattle to the next paddock. Then zipped through the Muzzle Station Homestead.

Managed to get a few kilometres down the road. The chopper bloke came through on a quad bike thing and gave me a lift 2 km down the road. In the heat I was pouring sweat, every bit helps.

Then I had the crossing of the Clarence River. I packed everything away, just in case I took a dive. Not really needed and while I had buttons of my shorts rinsed wasn’t flowing very swiftly at that point. Water felt warm and like all water in the last few days tasted funky.

Time for some bathing and a good clean up.

Just as I was getting out a truck came down the track but went to a different crossing point. It was loaded with fencing posts.

Humm, maybe it would be going out again.

Now after 2 pm it was really heating up in the confined valley. Occasionally a cooling breeze swept through.

I was struggling.

Eventually I was picked up by the truck driver, who had given me lift last year on my way in to do the East West Route. It was one of the most extraordinary rides of my life in terms of the terrain. We had to first drop steeply into the valley floor, and then do a massive climb above a slip on a perilous track. Hairpin bends were negotiated in this medium-sized truck.

Man, that was a long way down in a hurry.

I cut may be another 5 km trudging from my day, including that big climb, although I could have taken a lower alternative that vehicles can’t get through.

Then it was a straight forward slow descent to Forbes Hut.

I needed a rest day. My body was a wreck, and I collapsed for a short while before making dinner.

Certainly slept well.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Forbes Hut
Scotties is right by the river. | Scotties Hut, St James Cycleway

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