Rain arrived nigh on shut eye the evening before.

A heavy fall battered the hut roof.  Blocked out Iain’s snoring.

It was short, sharp and to the point.

Whenever the heavens above cry, we prey to the gods that it’s not for long because it could make the difference between being able to cross a river, or not.  And we knew there was a day of crossings on the radar.

We departed Tarn Hut with rain jackets on.  Tree canopy still gravitated droplets to soak one through to the skin, even if the air vapour was mist.  A shower or three reminded us of who was in control and extra care had to be taken underfoot over the terrain.  Tree roots can become a banana skin peel in the bush.

A single lane swing bridge was negotiated over the Wairoa River that looked crossable.  Tomorrow’s overthinking.

Distance was again on our side, and we covered it in 4 hours so a welcome undress of wet clothes and into the dry ones you carry.

Except for Iain from IT.  He had arranged to meet friends in St Arnaud to see 2021 cross over into 2022 and at some stage, had to do a skip a hut and do a double day walk in one.  He stayed in his wet clothes and after a bite, we watch him depart into the bush behind the hut after our farewell hug.  Shaking hands are for sissies.

Naturally, inward sadness to see him leave us because even though we had only known him for a couple of days, the experiences shared had made it feel like a lifetime.  The TA Trail does that.  Give a deep sense of connection.  So, another FB friend to visit in the future.  Or do more off the beaten trails in the land of the long white cloud together.

The hut was quiet for a bit.  Until Jane and Pip arrived.  In good spirits too even if drenched.  Wearing $6.00 ponchos from the Warehouse that they swear by.  Added to our list of things to have for next time.

There are usually water tanks at each hut that should be boiled before consumption.  Mid Wairoa didn’t have one.  Instead, you had to take a bucket and go down to the river and fill up.  It didn’t look too swelled from the rain so should be okay for Iain’s crossing that he would have been encountering somewhere up the thing.

The sun broke through and then it didn’t and then it did.

Gear was put out to try and dry.  And then they were brought in so as not to get more wet.

A little bit of up, down, up, down.  But nothing compared to what Iain was forging on with no doubt.

Huts have bunk beds so it too is one up and one down.

The key is to certainly hydrate, but only just enough not to have to get up in the night for a pee.

Only heard BClaire get down once from up above which woke me.  There we were outside away from the hut looking up at the stars together, urinating.  Very romantic in pitch black darkness under starlight.

A misfired fart didn’t go too well.

Let’s just write that the dehyd food and Ibuprofen combination caused an accidental stain.

Which was a shit when you only carry one spare pair of dacks.  And one of the pair was hanging from a clothesline in the hut trying to dry.

BClaire, laughing – which wasn’t necessary at the time when one was exposed because I just knew that it wasn’t going to be a personal kept incident during hut banter, luckily carried a third pair of panties.

I should have worn them arse about face, just saying.

And certainly, dosing so as not to have a repeat.

So all you lot who commented on our toilet paper photo of gear carried before we defarted, now you know why.

And hopefully appreciate.