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.
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.