After some showers, might be rain, overnight and despite the morning mist it kind of looked like that waterfall visible last night was not flowing in the morning.

That’s a positive with this river bashing required today.

As it turned out all the river crossings were below knee deep, and there were plenty, maybe 20 or so. The hardest section was the first, steeper, the bit down to Deception Hut, lots of rock scrambling, everything wet as the day progressed.

But it all became easier, helped by some recent track cutting for the Coast to Coast, which meant what you were clambering over was entirely visible.

DOC information was for an hour down to Upper Deception Hut but it took 2½, but the time to the road was just five hours more, not eight as per the DOC documentation.

No more showers and it warmed up, not exactly what I’ve been expecting with a low cloud up the pass. It’s entirely dramatic, particularly towards the top, a huge visual feast.

The flood track down the Otira River has been washed away in parts, actually in a big 2010 flood, and in any case was a fair pain to trudge, so instead I walked down the highway, it takes about half an hour, crossing the Otira was just knee deep.

It was 5 pm when I started up the Taramakau, thinking that perhaps I could get to the Kiwi Hut for the night, but I heard there were two hunters in residence, from the last pair of the seven SOBO, southbound, TA trampers, plus maybe a few stray trampers in occupation. Seems sensible to cut the day short and just camp, I’d already come over 20 km of fairly difficult river travel and wasn’t keen to arrive just on dusk when the hunters are out for an evening shoot.

Actually I need another night on my own once again, my efforts to chat with a couple of untalkative trampers later in the day left me feeling somewhat antisocial. Perhaps I’m not as engaging as I imagine.

The sandflies were thick where I pitched the tent and it took a while to eliminate them from the confines, now it has started to drizzle.

Luckily I’m snuggly in my sleeping bag which even had an hour’s sun earlier on to start to get that decent airing.

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