March 14th 1983

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

Most of the occupants of the hut had already left by the time we arose, racing on to the next hut to secure a bunk.  However, we refused to join in such an unseemly competition, + cooked a leisurely breakfast before setting off.  It was an excellent day’s walking.  Among the highlights – many beautiful views, enhanced by blue skies + sunlight.  A hefty climb up to a viewpoint + lunch.  A struggle, a severe struggle down a steep + slippery path down to a beautiful beach called Frenchman’s Bay.  There we threw a Frisbee about + swam.  Going across a swing-bridge – a rope bridge, I would call it.  Long + wobbly + fun.  Lovely patches of sunlight thro’ leaf.  Bad things were Val’s slippery shoes, + my 2 injuries.  My big toe is giving me a lot of trouble, the nail not growing as it should.  More worrying is my knee, which aches, is stiff, + I can’t put any weight on it.  It’s a bugger.

Frenchman’s Bay

However, even with much prevarication we arrived at Bark Bay hut at a respectable hour.  There were still a couple of bunks left, which we grabbed, + then went off for another swim.  Yet another beautiful beach – I don’t think there are places like this in England any more.  A guy there showed Val how to dig up some shellfish – mussels + pippies.  Not that there was any how to it – you just shoved your hands into the sand, + there they were.  Val boiled some up + tried them, enjoyed them too, I believe.  Not for me tho’ – shellfish never did anything for me.

The hut was nice – the best thing about it being a big open fire with 2 easy chairs in front of it.  I parked myself in front of the fire + in one of the chairs, + barely moved from then on, even during dinner.  Really, really nice – such a good atmosphere, firelight + candlelight.

One of the delights of the NZ tramping scene is a day like this, combining walking, relaxing, and a comfortable place to park oneself in the evening.

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