After David Saddle and Moss Pass on successive days it was time for a more leisurely Sunday.

A lie in.

A slow start.

A second visit to Blue Lake, went down last night as darkness encroached on the day, and this time I met a couple of curious Blue Ducks who paddled from the other side of the lake to greet me, quite close, 6 m or so. They were quite happy to take in their new companion, for me it’s the biggest animal I’ve seen since those cows in the Mataki Valley a week ago.

People? Well, that was D’Urville Hut, err, nine days ago.

I expected to see someone at Blue Lake.

No one.

Surely at West Sabine, but no one there either and I’d really got that firebox cranked up, everything is dried out.

They’ve taken the avalanche thing seriously in the upper West Branch, there’s considerably more devastation since the last time I was tootling around here 10 years ago. The hills are massively steep and there’s plenty of loose stuff from glacial days just holding on up there, down in the valley is occasional car sized boulders devoid of lichen or vegetation, clearly a new intruder just happily settled at the bottom of the cliffs now.

There’s a new swing bridge closer to the hut, with the amount of debris, ie, whole trees, in the watercourse it looks as if the last one was swept away in a flood.

Anyway it’s now completely dark and once again I’m on my lonesome. Stopping down the firebox once it was well alight has made it radiate a tropical style heat.

Gunna be a cosy night.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: West Sabine Hut

West Sabine Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park
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