Distance today: 38.5km
Distance total: 2308.9km
Time hiked: 10h 41min
Time total: 699h 38min
Sandflies besiege my inner tent this morning. Even though I'm dying to go to the loo, I stow my sleeping bag first and get everything ready to put into my backpack. Because the flies will get in as soon as I open my zip (I unfortunately had to make the experience yesterday...). So better get everything ready as long as they are on the other side of the net.
As the beasts are following me as soon as I'm out of the tent, I do my business rather quickly. Once done, I throw everything in my backpack and stow my tent. Never been faster, even though I constantly have to smash the flies attacking my legs.
Today's first few kilometer are a bit slow-going with many river crossings and a sidling along Waiau River's true right. With the valley widening again, hiking gets fairly easy. A great part is on a flat, grassy farm road, initially following Waiau River downstream, then Henry River upstream. Only some river crossings bring some change.
Weatherwise, it's a somewhat strange day. Sun, clouds, showers and wind accompany me throughout the day. Especially while following Henry River towards Anne Hut, a cold, very strong breeze is blowing directly into my face. Cap, gloves, ice breaker... And I'm still freezing.
Nonetheless, I enjoy the hike through a totally transformed, sparse, dry landscape. For a Brit, who I meet at Anne Hut, the landscape looks nearly identical to the one he has seen in South Africa. It looks very steppe-like indeed.
Although I already hiked more than 20 kilometer, it's only shortly past 12. I continue on well formed, great track, which would be perfectly suitable for running (oh, how I miss it!) over Anne Saddle. After Waiau Pass, this little saddle is cute in comparison.
Rokeby Hut is a few kilometer further downstream on Boyle River. With its approximately 6 square meter, the 3-bunk-hut is not much bigger than Caroline Creek Bivy. However, it's clean, bright and mostly insect-free.
Looking at the hut book, it seems that hardly anyone is staying here. Most hikers probably stay at the served and more comfy Boyle Flat Hut, only another hour away.
I prefer these little basic huts though. Feels much more cozy. Especially with a warming fire going.