After yesterday’s exertions, today was a major rest day.

I certainly put on a few kilometres since Cavalier, and I’d always wanted to have a full day at Freds. I had stayed three times in the past, each time for a single night, the last almost exactly 3 years ago, so it was about time.

It turned into the best weather of the trip. The early morning cloud disappeared, leaving bright blue sky.

But it was accompanied by a strong cold easterly wind. That really cut through my clothes.

I got a fire going last night to dry out my soaked clothes and warm up a very chilly me. I’ve lost some conditioning on these recent travels that must’ve been helping me stay warm previously.

I should be shaping up as it’s been exactly 5 weeks since I set off for Port Craig for 12 days walking, and now another 18 days. so, I have stayed in huts for 30 nights out of the previous 35.

Just tonight and two more to go.

It turned out low tide was 2 pm, so I helped myself to those delicious blue mussels that were available for the taking.

That involved splashing around in the murky and dark chocolate Patterson Inlet/Whaka a Te Wera waters that were quite refreshing.

Also spent an hour or so removing my facial hair accumulated in the last three weeks. Sprucing myself up for civilisation.

Yeah, tasty mussels for lunch. That makes a change from a small block of cheese, a tiny chunk of salami, and with a muesli bar as a sweet bonus.

Speaking of bonuses, I found there was full Internet connectivity, so I rang the backpackers to say I was on track to arrive in a few days time. They had been discussing my imminent appearance with the island policeman, and were still expecting me in the next few days. There were few concerns about my whereabouts, fortunately, but it did appear that the country had been informed that there was still a stray tramper somewhere on Stewart Island/Rakiura, despite the level 4 lockdown.

My plan is Freshwater > North Arm > Oban.

So, the big day tomorrow getting back to Freshwater, and then another over to North Arm. At least it’s an easy amble from there.

The plan is to leave early to give me plenty of time in the swamplands. No hurrying through that second to last swamp. I’m not keen to have another dunking.

But the water level may have gone down after this 36 hours dry spell.

Dark. Time for bed.

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