Day 81.

I can’t believe that. It seems I’ve been walking half my lifetime.

For the last many weeks, I have hobbled out of my tent. I have had a bruised right heel and tight muscles, but somehow, by the time I get my boots on, my body seems to be back to full working condition, pain no longer evident.

I woke during the night to a sky full of stars, no city lights or pollution to dim the experience, but as I sat in the kitchen shelter with the light growing stronger, it was densely cloudy again. I’m no stranger to gloom on this long voyage. From my perch in the shelter, I look straight across to Picton, plenty of orange lights on early. Yesterday, I had a view of three Cook Strait ferries simultaneously.

Pigs have been rampaging around the campsite during the night, plenty of squealing and grunting, and I don’t think it was the other camper.

“Some of that grunting wasn’t me,” I said to the other camper, but it seems some clearly was. She maintained distance from me and my task of providing her reassurance she wasn’t going to be eaten by cannibals overnight. Having been accomplished, there is no longer a need to be friendly.

Dawn is my favourite time of day, full of potential, birds with the dawn chorus, sandflies not yet making their presence felt, colours very much muted, the ridges with their dark vegetation in rows, mirrored by the clouds getting lighter as you similarly look to the horizon.

The water is into two distinct shades: lighter, where the Queen Charlotte sound water is calm, and darker, where ruffled by the breeze. It’s remarkably monochrome early on, just silvery shades of the same neutral colour.

By the time the orange Picton lights disappear there’s already a few small boats making their slow way across the water, just dots from up here on the ridge top, no sound discernible.

The view is now duotone, light blue tinge to the grey on the water and sky, green more readily apparent to the vegetation. Almost time to go.

The other camper has disappeared without any farewell, this seems to be the way these days, when people want something they are engaging, need over, they evaporate.

I’ve gone early as well. Let’s get this trail over.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Camp Bay campsite

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