A week since my last day off and, umm, today was hard work. Not in the walking, most of the day was walking on gravel roads, a sealed road or, often, along forestry 4WD tracks. Can’t complain there.

It was the socks, back to their abrasive best, damp when slid on this morning, never able to dry due to the increasing number of places my boots are leaking. Once again there has been significant areas of skin removal.

Other than that it was the most undistinguished day, pine trees, gorse, roads not quite the full DOC experience. I guess the major issue for the day is the lack of water near possible camping places, this is Southland after all, that’s not supposed to happen. While there have been showers and even the drizzly day there’s not a great deal of rain when all added up.

We were lucky with the water last night, the tiny creek being so close, if somewhat of a scratchy scramble to access.

This evening wasn’t so easy, that’s to find a campsite with water somewhat near, but in the end, after looking at the contours on the map, I wandered 200 m down an old smashed up, overgrown logging track and there’s another tiny stream of running water. Looks like I found a spot to camp. On my lonesome tonight, Fiona and Anthony were making tracks to maybe spend a rest day in Ohai.

I’ll just continue with my 20 km a day, it’s hard to sustain much more than that day after day, at least for me with my current baggage. Maybe when the tide level goes down on the food I’ll be up to crank out some more, but at this stage of the proceedings, it’ll do.

In the meantime I’m not quite snug in my sleeping bag, its clammy, ie, damp and it’d be useful to stop and get a couple of hour’s sun and wind airing. The tent needs the same to remove the dew and condensation.

In a couple of nights I’ll be in Lower Wairaki Hut so it might need to wait until then. I might even get three consecutive nights in a hut if I manage my progress effectively.

I’ve been in that tent for 18 nights from the last 23.

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