It’s days like this which remind you of that old saying, maybe not that old, the dying Christopher Hitchens said it: You don’t have a body, you are a body.

Despite the removal of almost a kilo of payload at Port William the remaining 17 day’s food is proving quite the impediment to progress, but no matter, my theory is to arrive at any hut somewhere between 3 30 and 4 00 pm, enough time to settle in, do some writing, collect firewood, construct dinner, before darkness falls completely.

That leaves a full six or seven hours to enjoy the bush on a three or four-hour stagger. It’s a worthwhile way to spend time on a pleasant, at time sunny, at times not, day sitting quietly to listen to the birds, they take about 10 minutes to return to the usual ambient state after my intrusion.

Yesterday I spotted a red-crowned parakeet. Today I simply heard them chattering unmistakably away, and later a couple of wood pigeons crashing in the foliage, tuis with their musical song and whirring flight, a white-faced heron down by the water, a relatively recent immigrant from Australia, and a host of unidentifiable small birds, tomtit amongst them but otherwise too flighty to be identified.

After seeing three DOC guys yesterday it seems my main accompaniment in the vertebrate sub-phylum this trip will be those birds. Here at Bungaree in the last five weeks, there’s been only one other tramper through, looks as if I will have to make do with my own company.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Bungaree Hut

Bungaree Hut, North-west Circuit, Stewart Island
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