Rain!! Been coming down all night.

I sprang up early and made a coffee. Seemed pretty clear I wouldn’t be going anywhere in a hurry so went back to my sleeping bag. I’ve still some food for a few days remaining so no rush. I was intending some days rest once I reach civilisation in any case. I can handle having that dose of relaxation early.

No problem about sitting around in a hut for a while. A day off has helped but my body would appreciate a second. I would have moved on but half a dozen crossings of Seymour Stream presented themselves, and it has a reasonable catchment so I needed to give it a few hours to go down once the rain stopped.

Less likely to have company, unless another rafting party decides to stop by here to dry out. The addition of 12 extra bodies would inject some activity into my tranquillity.

Little reading material around. The hut book has 22 entry since I was here almost exactly a year ago. January 10 actually, of which six are from trampers. Most have been rafters or hunters. Most interesting is 40 outdoor education students who don’t mention their mode of transport, presumably rafting.

Is also an issue of New Zealand Pig Hunter magazine that is a horrifying read for a semi-vegetarian tree hugger such as myself. The pictures show numerous dead pigs with their mouths agape, showing the rippers.

Most of the stories are just a combination of the words boar, various dogs names, matagouri, wrapt, usually spelt incorrectly, and “she stuck it”.

One of the various stories tells of a 10-year-old’s first pig kill. Dad demonstrated how with a knife. Good that dad spends quality time with the kids.

One funny story, not so funny for the protagonist, was of a guy going to pick up his daughter from rural school bus and noticed recent rooting in a paddock. He went home for his dogs and rifle. Then noticed he forgot his ammunition. 10 minutes later the dogs bailed up a pig, and his daughter used a knife to kill it, while still in school uniform, because he was too slow up the hill.

The rain is more sporadic mid-morning. I have until 2 pm to make any decision about moving on to Forbes Hut.

In the end I decided to move. The stream had a few hours of no rain to allow it to go down, and while the crossings were above knee height and fairly vigorous, they were not excessively difficult. The hard part was the ankle deep sludge on either side tended to be like a suction cup on the bottom of my boots. There were about 15 crossings required.

Not much rain on the way but it sure was blowing.

Weather report is for the situation to clear up by lunchtime tomorrow. Still plenty of food left. I scoffed a double portion of nuts, two cups of soup, and a double ration of de-hy flavouring with my standard rice.

Hoping for an uncharacteristic early start tomorrow, and hitching to Kaikoura, that has a big supermarket for resupply, or Hanmer via the Inland Highway.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Warden Hut style=“padding-bottom: 1em;”>Scotties is right by the river. | Scotties Hut, St James Cycleway

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