Mega chatting this morning and I didn’t set off on any little adventure until all the others had peeled off, I’d thrown back my third cup of coffee, and scoffed half my lunch.

Having gone both directions on the beach yesterday for some reason, a good one at the time, I thought I might head back up Doughboy Hill to get a photo or two of the Tin Range that I hadn’t managed to observe in the gloom and cloud and rain when I came over a couple of days ago. Today the weather was brighter, blue sky apparent, wind more on the calm side after the gales of recent times, but as these things happen, at least on Stewart Island, it was entirely overcast by the time I managed to get back up the 400m.

Not surprisingly I found it as a great deal easier to climb these hills without a pack.

The view was, however at least initially quite clear, the gloom fairly high, the Tin Range, from Table Hill around to Hill 637 all entirely apparent and I sat up there in the chill for an hour, watching for a break in the clouds and some sunlight to sneak through to create a spectacular photo. Being Stewart Island it failed to oblige so I plodded on back down.

Three others had stayed for a second night, me on a third, all thrilled by the location. Then there was an influx, another wave, three, one of whom, a local, disappeared immediately to find his own campsite.

Dunno, after so many trips on my lonesome it is a joy to be involved in a standard DOC hut conversation, all intensity, depth and revelations of other’s lives and motivations and plans and futures. Sharing a hut is a great leveller out here, the southernmost DOC hut in New Zealand, getting here means considerable energy and planning is required, the general interest level of the residents is high.

We might generally be the quiet achiever types, but we have plenty of zip.

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

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Doughboy Bay Hut

Doughboy Bay Hut, Southern Circuit, Stewart Island
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