Today’s hike was typical, easy-ish and uneventful, apart from startling a tahr I hadn’t seen on the path in front of me and it startling me right back. It was pretty big, and had pretty scary looking horns, and I was thankful it was more scared of me than I was of it.
After five pleasant hours strolling through beech forest, around mud and over roots, followed by my pīwakawaka entourage, I arrived at the road end and found, sure enough, the ute described by the woman at the hut last night. The keys were where I expected and I jumped in and took off down the road. It took a full twenty minutes to arrive in Pelorus, and I was glad I cheated. I parked the ute at the address I had been given, re-hid the keys, and walked the remaining kilometre to the DOC campground in time for lunch.
This afternoon I wandered down the various trails and day walks beginning from the campground, and marvelled at the difference in the bus at this latitude compared with the forests down south.
It looks set to be another freezing night tonight, with a clear sky. Here’s hoping my finely tuned clothing system I created on the Abel Tasman track is enough!