Diary writing is becoming a plod. I grow sick of it, leave it for a few days, have to work at it feverishly in order to catch up, + so sicken myself once more. Such, as the Man said, is life. Once again, the majority of people had left by the time we even arose, + as we were respectably leisurely over breakfast, were the last to depart. Soon overtook one pair tho’, one half of whom had injured his foot. A strange character he was, a Kiwi called Max, who seemed to revel in his various injuries + the attention they brought him. He talked in an almost continuous stream of consciousness, which was, until it became tedious, fascinating to listen to. During the day, we overtook the majority of the people who had left before us, not really because of greater walking speed, but more because we stopped less often. We even passed one group who had set off at the crack of dawn, who were held up by the tide on the home stretch. By sheer good fortune, we arrived at the estuary at precisely the time the tide had receded enough to allow us to pass, so we were able to wade directly across. It had been an easy walk, a mere 3 or 4 hours, tho’ very pleasant.
The hut was easily the best of the ones we had yet seen, clean, spacious + comfortable. We rested for a while, then headed out to the beach, along with several others, to swim, sunbathe, throw a Frisbee, search for mussels. Not that it involves much of a search – they are so easy to find that if they weren’t so plentiful it would be a mollusc massacre. I don’t eat them – since Seattle seafood is for the birds, so far as I’m concerned – but Val had a few last night. Our meal for the night was a rice + soup concoction, but shortly after that I went to bed, tired from the day’s exertions, + not interested in the conversations going on. On these walks one tends to keep the same travelling companions, + I wasn’t over-excited by ours. Still, we expected to be losing most of them tomorrow.
Yesterday we met Andy, an Englishman cum Canadian that we had first encountered in Tongariro, + he had expressed the possibility of giving us a ride out of the Park (it being no easy matter to get out under one’s own steam, the place being somewhat cut off), + b) travelling with him + sharing expenses for a while. Both these prospects appealed to us greatly, so we decided to spend an extra day in the park in the hope of seeing him again + fixing up something definite.
Meeting people is one of the reasons one goes travelling, but it is always a mixed blessing. Just like life anywhere, I guess, there’s a mixture of the welcome and unwelcome encounters. A relaxing time, all the same, and most pleasant to enjoy the surroundings and the amenities, as well as the company.