20th December, Te Aroaro  80 days

Richmond Range

Pelorus river 1816km   to Rock hut 1840km

Last night was very warm but come morning it was a total different story. Two other TA walkers also camped alongside the river and they told me that a local said it was ok to camp down here as the American owner hasn’t been sent for a long time and besides, he wouldn’t mind anyway.

Funny how thing turn out, the TA couple from France, I had meet them up in the North Island at a Pub where Eunhwa was having a rough day so we stopped and had a large meal of beef steak and chips. I remember them as I was surprised how small their backpacks were compared to our monster bags.

The black line in the path I took, 

I set off at 7:15 and 5 hours later I got to Captain River Hut, Sandflies were really bad. It was like a dark cloud that followed every movement you made.  The weather couldn’t have been better and if I was brave enough, I would have gone for a swim in one of the plenty water holes in the nearby river.

Got to Middy Creek hut, family with a beagle dog and an 8 year old girl doing a three day hike were there, they plan to head to Rock hut today which is my plan as well.  A hunter came up from the river just wearing shorts with a hunters Bow and Arrow set strapped across his back.  He didn’t stay long but he did offer us dry goat’s meat.  Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to accept his offering and then he disappeared.  The family, that had talked to the hunter before I arrived, told me that he had been living in the bush for a couple of weeks and spending his time hunting wild goats and then drying out the meat with spices rubbed into it and he had said he killed three goats just this morning. Apparently the meat was very nice to eat.

Got to Rock hut after a nice hill climb sheltered by the forest, the hut was large and it’s the first hut I’ve come across that a hut had two flushing toilets compared to the usual long drops.  There was another TA hiker in the hut and as it turned out, he had meet the hunter the day before and got some goats meat from him, I tried some and was surprised how nice it was. I had plenty of time and did a short walk to the lookout point where I was hoping to view Nelson, but this wasn’t to be so as the tree line had blocked any view.

Looking towards  Nelson, no view of the town