Now and again, we got a glimpse out through the bush to the hills opposite,
usually where an avalanche had opened a path through the trees.
Avalanche warnings appear regularly along the track and not without reason.
Miranda being in charge of the weather again we have a blue dome day to look out on. Shortly after 3 we catch up with Mike and Carol who have stopped for a packs-off and we join them briefly.
We continue as before, down one side of a creek bed and up the other
and once more into relatively easy going.
and back to rock hopping.
I am a thorough convert to hiking poles. Including an emergency ration we are carrying a week's food with us at this point, and the poles provide an ongoing stability you just can't get any other way, especially on some of the trickier, narrow parts of the track. On uphill sections they are also invaluable providing extra propulsion, but again, you'd better train properly for this or your shoulders can come back to bite you at nights.
Open glades of fern are a delight.
The luxuriance of the moss in the South Island bush never ceases to engage my attention.
but I can do without yet another hill.
Without being overly demanding, the track is nevertheless continuously in your face. On either side the bush is much closer than it is on the Heaphy, and underfoot there is seldom room for any sustained walking rhythm to develop, all of which makes demands on ankles, knees and hips that will justify as much training on uneven ground as you possibly can .
We descend again to the river where we catch up again with Mike and Carol who have stopped to cool off. It's getting on towards 5pm but still hot.
Carol produces a thermos for a welcome cuppa.
We set off again, for a while staying close to the river.
with an occasional grassy field.