The pitter patter of rain meant there was no hurry to arise.

Soon it was the pitter patter of small feet as a stoat chased a rat around the roof structure. On a couple of occasions the rat came over to glance at me, then proceeded on its scurrying way.

The stoat did as well, quite recognisable with its hairy, shorter tail, and stoat-like face.

The rat decided on being elsewhere, and the stoat followed suit, leaving me in peace.

Later Mr Stoat looked in through the open door.

Turned out the rain quickly stopped, and I made breakfast on some hot embers from last night’s fire. My fuel supplies are looking poor considering I have another eight or so days’ food. Make that 10, so I’m about halfway in my travels time-wise. Only a third in distance, much of which was done yesterday.

Maybe if the rain stays away I can get places.

I didn’t leave too early, letting the water levels go down was my theory. But perhaps I should have left earlier as I only made it to the hut about 7 30 pm.

The track was trimmed most of the way, and that made life easier. Parts of it were glorious, but there have been quite a few windfall trees that need to be negotiated.

About halfway I ran into a Dutch couple who had come over Three Tarn Pass a few days ago, then attempted David Saddle. Unfortunately they had picked the wrong side of the stream to climb and had become bluffed, and rather than attempting the other side that is steep but doable, they returned to the East Matakitaki Hut, and were now walking out via Downie Hut.

I just picked up water from the stream at Bobs Hut when another figure, limping, appeared from the Three Tarn Pass direction.

Seems I’ll have company tonight.

Better to have human than the rodent and mustelid varieties of this morning.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Bobs Hut

Bobs Hut under Mt Maling, 2127m, in Nelson Lakes National Park
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