More or less the halfway point on the North West Circuit, so tomorrow is designated a rest day: Day 7.

On my little radio yesterday I picked up one weather forecast with gales mentioned for Fiordland.

Actually not gales. Severe gales.

I’m not too sure whether down here I should pay attention to the Fiordland forecast, I can see it over there, or be more concerned with what Southland has to offer, ie, fine.

In the end, I take the two-for-one deal, ie, both, and so it proved to be, ie, both.

From Yankee River, you do a climb over to Smokey Beach and she sure was blowing. I stopped in the forest a couple of times just to watch the trees wave vigorously around.

Then, of course, you get out of the tea tree and have a major sand dune encounter, hard to clamber up that kind of steepness in loose sand, then down to the beach, she’s a full-on sandblasting operation, and I’m marching directly into the blast. My pack cover blows straight off but is retrieved, those grains, pellets, lashing my face, I’m sure I’ll find them everywhere in the next few days he says, scratching out his ears.

The wind is, err, ferocious, the sea whipped into the cliched lather, mostly whitecaps, roaring loudly, and later, once safely snuggled in at Long Harry, the hut catches the full brunt despite being set back somewhat from the cliff edge, and rocks disconcertingly.

She’s going to be a blowy old night.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Long Harry Hut

Long Harry Hut, North-west Circuit, Stewart Island
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