Clear skies overnight with the stars shining through brightly.

Just the simple stroll out.

Well, after a few days trudging in a row, the longest stretch wasn’t exactly what is desired. But in life, sometimes you just need to crack out what’s required.

Port Craig to Rarakau car park is up-and-down, and round-and-round. You spend a fair amount of time walking, although with the convolutions, not getting far in a straight line.

But the knowledge is that each step is one closer to the 32,000 steps required for the day.

The forest here has slightly more undergrowth, and some rimu trees that have avoided foresters’ saws 100 years ago, somehow.

This bit of the track is all part of the Hump Ridge, so it is in reasonable nick, certainly better than the bad swamp bash from Waitutu to Wairaurahiri, or the splashy Wairaurahiri to Port Craig.

Plenty of gravel, and each stream whatever the size is bridged. Yippee!!

Not much muck for any distance, and you can generally just dance through it.

Man, lunch had been taken, and I still was not on the first beach. I was wondering if I’d left my departure a little late, and would be arriving in the dark once again.

On my way in I’d started at a similar time, but had an hour and a bit with my headlight on in the pitch dark. My super heavy pack and general lack of match fitness left me lumbering. On-the-job training required.

Today that was not going to happen. I was somewhat sore from the previous few days, particularly the mud festival, but had no great desire to wander around in the dark this time, particularly as my headlight had just about expired the second set of batteries.

Once on the beach, the sun came out, and I could really make pace.

The kilometres zipped by, and I had no problems with darkness.

It sure felt good to finally take my boots and pack off at the car park.

No damage to my car noted, and no petrol had been siphoned. That’s a major bonus.

Just now the 26 km drive back to Tuatapere, and my first intentional shower for almost two weeks.

← Day 11 | Port Craig Schoolhouse Hut, again