Glad I didn’t continue over here yesterday afternoon.

It’s been quite a day.

Some parts are easy, like starting out on the long sand ridges, and much of getting through the forest.

The main issue was getting across from one sandridge to the next through what is termed Freshwater Swamp. It is damp underfoot generally, but is riven by little slow-moving streams and it’s all very spongy.

The stream bits are difficult to cross. Mainly because there is nothing significantly solid under your feet at that point.

It was my second crossing where I came to grief.

The key to success is searching for shrubbery with roots to help out. Manuka, or the short leaved sedge.

Unfortunately, at the place of my choosing, well, I found myself sinking quickly into the murk, and it was very clear I could just continue down to the centre of the Earth.

Quick thinking, I took off my pack and tossed it forward, then used my walking pole, I only have one, to help drag myself out. Just pushing against the vegetation buried your hands, so the horizontal pole offered some resistance.

Wet almost to my nipples. Lucky my camera is supposedly waterproof.

That was a real dunking.

It was an odd feeling trying to push my boots into the substrate, but just burying myself like quicksand. The pack removal certainly assisted.

When I glanced back the area looked like a hippo wallow pad.

Plenty of the track was underwater once I got through the swamp that took about two hours to negotiate and crossed the Tolson River swingbridge.

It’s one of the few stretches of track on Rakiura where you rejoice to see a hill.

On the other hand, later there are some excellent parts to the track, mostly in the forest. It’s so little used it reminds me of what the tracks used to be like before the recent popularity where they seem to have been seriously cut up. This is one section of track that most tend to avoid because it’s so easy to grab a water taxi.

Some reward, however. The tide was still low, and I made haste to collect a big entrée of mussels.

Entirely tasty.

Yes, a big day.

Plenty of adventure. An actual physical challenge. Overall, really enjoyable.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Freds Camp Hut

Freds Camp Hut, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island
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