Day 2 was a rest day.

A four-hour walk into the hut, and then a rest day?

Actually, it was needed. I had arrived at the hut totally soaked after much of the time in drizzle and wandering up or down creeks, and then crossing the over knee deep Stafford River.

My 34-day initial burst this summer was mostly walking, usually with a heavy pack.

I’d started in Blenheim with enough food for 18 days and probably three or four more. So, I’d had Christmas Day of Lake Alexander Hut, then Boxing Day as well due to heavy rain. Another day off at Forbes Hut due to rain. So 15 of 18 days was on the move. One day off in Hanmer then back out with a refilled pack. Steyning Hut provided shelter for a very wet day, and then I was on the move again.

One full day off at Greymouth, and sitting on a bus the following day.

Generally it has been a summer of new places, new faces.

This is my beach holiday. I have plenty of coffee, but only the usual food.

I went down to the beach early on. Mist clung to the hills prior to 7 am. Very mysterioso.

All that burnt off. Before lunch I went on a decent walk down each end of the beach. Sadly the rocks are mudstone and not strong enough to allow mussels to mature, so no big protein feed for me.

Deer tracks on the pebbly beach from earlier in the morning. A large crayfish was washed up.

A two-hour wander.

Maybe the highlight was looking down the coast towards the Cascade Plateau. Big 200 m cliffs drop almost straight into the sea. I saw from the hutbook that Henriette Beikirch walked up the coast a few years ago, but it all looked excessively gnarly for me. Well, the bluffs may have been accessible at low tide, it was the swimming of the large Cascade River at the river mouth that was the more serious concern.

While it was fairly windless, not always the case as shown by the shaped vegetation, every five minutes a group of large waves would smash in. I guess I could return along the coast to complete the loop, but DOC doesn’t recommend South to North travel, and a local had said three people have died on the coast route in recent years.

I’ll confront the windfall in the stream beds once again for my return.

Yeah, so blue sky, plenty of walking in gravel, and wet boots once again crossing the Stafford River a few times. I had gone down initially in my jandals, but worked out they weren’t the best footwear for a steep gravel beach. Or for the rocks.

Hey, I could get to like the beach holiday thing.

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