I slept on the balcony, on a mattress dragged out, there were nine bodies inside, the two families, ie, four adults and four teenagers plus an extra stray woman who wandered in just after dark. They had all stumped up $20 for a bunk up at the delightful Angelus Hut but hadn’t quite struggled up there, it’s a four hour slog up the hill from here.

I’m warm enough in my sleeping bag despite the extra ventilation.

Today was the second big day in recent times, today sort of comparable to last Saturday’s trudge up to The Rocks. I felt okay to start despite yesterday’s three hour mini effort, shoulders and feet in reasonable nick.

Today the first hour was as good a track as you could ask, uphill for a while but then it pointed down, mostly, dropping from the 1160m high point to the Sabine Hut on Lake Rotoroa, 450 m. Two cute little lakes on a flattish portion of the hillside, small beech tree forest huddling around the water’s edge. The Sabine Hut was brand new last time I saw it, 2002, inspection taking time while waiting for the water taxi but it’s well settled into the forest these days.

Just after I left to zip around the lake edge to D’Urville I ran into a couple of tramping parties, three women, me heading in the wrong direction, then a mixed party of 8. Then the drizzle and gloom set in as I moved around the base of Mt Misery.

Eventually about 5 pm, ie, not far off dark, I turned up to the almost full house of D’Urville Hut, three boats at the jetty, seems like a few groups are making the most of the Thursday Anzac Day public holiday to turn it into a long weekend. Three shooters, one deer and one pig shot, full of stories, one trout fisherman working out the last days of the season, it ends at the end of the month, ie, less than a week, and a few more I’m not certain of their reason to be here, guess they’d just happened in.

After these two nights there won’t be much companionship as I move west to the Mataki, it’s too far away and you can’t arrive in a boat.

I’ll sleep well again tonight.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: D’Urville Hut

D'Urville jetty, Lake Rotoroa, Nelson Lakes National Park
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