Lovely morning once again, and I watched the sun make its presence felt.

This splendid hut was just a minute dot in the landscape, surrounded by steep, tussock-clad hills.

But I’d chosen to have a rest day.

Time to wash me and my clothes properly. Dry my boots.

River crossings would be in short supply for the next couple of days as I took to some ridges for a change.

My intention was to leave early the following day to get through the hill climbing part. The hut is around 960 m. I would be climbing another 900 m, mainly on a reasonable four-wheel drive gradient, up to the top Hawkdun Range at 1849 m.

Strangely, the range is quite rounded and very slowly descends for most of the day. If my body held up, my intention was to make it to Wire Yards Hut, however far away that would be. The lack of available water would provide motivation.

Back in May, I had walked until after dark for 38 km so anything was possible, if my body would let it. It may well be another 12-hour day.

In the meantime, other than carbohydrate loading, I sketched out the structure of another book outline and wrote a decent chunk of the first chapter. I realised I’d already written the basis for the epilogue.

It turned out to be a typical rest day where I also pottered around drinking coffee in the morning and two rounds of soup later in the afternoon.

The weather changed as the day progressed, with cloud returning overhead and showers around, and a noticeable drop in temperature.

Time to take to my bunk and read a bit more book. Rest my muscles for the big day’s effort.

I hoped that bad weather blew through.

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