Yeah, the slowest day in my tramping history, at least recently.

Rain was falling as I woke. Just the gentle sound on the roof.

I watched the tree ferns turn from dull grey to green as the early morning light improved, and then the rain really came down.

By 8 am most of the precipitation was over for the day but with the super dense cloud of gloom that only Southland can produce.

No hurry.

No way to proceed today, as I remembered today was the worst day for rain in the ten-day forecast I’d written down, then somehow managed to leave behind.

So, after yesterday’s exhausted rest day, today was a real one where I failed to wander, except down to the river at times, and collecting some firewood.

In the afternoon, the temperature dropped and I finally started a fire with the wood I’d collected yesterday. The temperature inside went up sufficiently for my breath not to make itself obvious, so with three layers on my torso, it was relatively cosy.

Unless it’s raining heavily I will proceed towards Slaughterburn Hut tomorrow for a couple of nights before returning here.

I’ve ruled out Westies on this occasion. Insufficient light for a daytrip is my official excuse, but I’m not overly keen to return to that exciting, damp, and rat-smelling miracle of a hut. The two nights I stayed there last time is sufficient for any lifetime.

With a tent, I’d head over to Big River instead. Longer daylight hours would help, with it almost dark at 5 50 am. Just the time I was arriving two nights ago but with even more gloom here tonight.

Early slide into my sleeping bag once I finished dinner.

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