• Kay

Day 112 I killed millions of sandflies today

Thursday 30 January Start 7.30am Finish 5.45 pm Distance 15km, plus 1km to Rock Hut Lookout Total 1,836km Steps 21,107 Elevation approx 900m Weather: Sunny and hot Today was a stunner. The Pelorus River continues to be one of my favourites. Two swims today in a couple of it's beautiful swimming holes. It was nowhere near as cold as I expected, and thoroughly enjoyable. That said getting in became a necessity. Yes it was hot, however it was the sandflies that drove me in. As soon as I stopped walking I was swarmed by millions of the little biting buggers. I couldn't swipe fast enough! I ate a few, involuntarily, then jumped in the river fully clothed including my shoes. Turned out to be a great idea. Kept me cool for a good hour once I started walking again.

Escaping sandflies in the Pelorus River

The Pelorus to Hacket track is the kind of track I love. Rocks and roots, and scenery. The only thing missing was bird life. I only saw two piwakawaka (fantails), and one toutouwai (robin). Heard next to nothing. I'm looking forward to predator free 2050! For all you doubters out there read the NZ Geographic magazine this month. There is a great article about it.

The guy from yesterday who was disappointed at Emerald Pools joined me in the river when I was swimming at lunch. When I said how lovely it was he commented it could be a bit more refreshing! Again he wasn't joking. I give up! Luckily he walks much faster than me and will skip Rocks Hut.

Rocks Hut, where I am tonight, is great. It has flushing toilets! Very civilised. When I arrived there was no-one else here and the next person didn't arrive for another hour. For a while there I thought I might be the only one. There are now four of us which is lovely and quiet for a 16 person hut. It was disappointing however, how dirty the hut was. The benches and table covered in food remnants. I spent the first half an hour cleaning. I took a wander up to the Lookout which had excellent views across the Richmond Ranges. I hung around waiting for the sunset but had to cut the excursion short as the wind suddenly started blowing strongly and it became very cold.

Root covered track up to Rocks Hut
Young piwakawaka still losing its baby feathers

Tomorrow I am being joined by a good friend Chad at Hacket Hut. It will be great to have company on a 'challenging' part of the trail.

Richmond Ranges fro Rocks Hut Lookout

Alpine flower

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