I woke up to my alarm at 0630 but decided there was no rush today so I went back to sleep for another hour. Then I took my time over breakfast reading a wilderness magazine. I gave the hut a good clean and sweep and was on my way. I was back at the Swingbridge an on track at 0920. The first 5 minutes was a fantastic track through the bush which surprised me. I thought once we were off the Cass-Lagoon Circuit the track would deteriorate. After 5 minutes the track emerged from the bush and joined a little used vehicle track which I followed for the next 11 km. The track was hard to see in parts, especially on the river stones and at the frequent river crossings. After 4 km the track climbed above the river and then it was well defined and easy to walk on. On this part 3 full vehicles passed. The lead one stopped to talk and they were heading to Hamilton Hut.
I stopped for a break and as I stood up to put my pack on I looked up and saw the Pinnacles. I think I may have missed them if I didn't have that break.
The track crossed the Harper river and then 5 minutes later the Ada which was a braided river that took a while to cross and concentration to keep to the track. From there it was onto a farm track across the flats and after a couple more stream crossings onto a metal (gravel) track. Here I found some shade and dried my feet while having a long lunch. Two mature trampers came while I was sitting there. They were heading to Hamilton Hut and not happy when I told them about the company they would have.
It was now only two km to Harper Village. Once through the few houses it was a big climb, passing the 2200 km milestone. I now had 12 km of gravel road passing 4 lakes. One was called Lake Selfie so I had to take a selfie of it. A couple of people stopped to offer me a ride. One was the farm manager so I asked permission to camp at a treeline shown on the map and he suggested a better spot 2 km in by a lake.
The road walk took ages. It was hot and I didn't have a lit if energy so was taking heaps of breaks. The strong headwind didn't help.
My stomach was not sore but is still bloated but not as much as yesterday. I still have no appetite so am struggling to force food into myself and am not eating enough which is affecting my energy levels. I am looking forward to a couple of half days and some real food tomorrow.
The tree line on the map would be a good campsite but I was happy at the lake in a small patch of pine trees. It was windy so I tucked into the thickest part. There was a car not far away and I said hi as I headed to the lake to filter some water. I was digging my toilet hole when the guy from the car walked up and offered for me to use his cooker for my dinner and to use the back of his vehicle as it was sheltered from the wind. I accepted and had dinner while talking about South Africa where he is originally from.
Once finished I headed back to my tent and crashed.