There were only a couple of possums in the night as we slept by the stream.
But the 76,056 sandflies that lived in the area were there waiting for us as the sun rose.
Breakfast was eaten as we paced up and down the pathway attempting to avoid their attention.
We packed and ran up the river as fast as we could.
The four kilometres of schist river was a breeze. It was pretty shallow and schist isn't slippery like most river rocks. It also tends to be flat so it's often like walking along an underwater cobbled pathway.
We had to scrabble up banks a few times to avoid slightly deep pools...but were often met by something much worse.
Its thistles are about 4cm long. It grows in thick clumps. It's a staunch native that deserves more recognition for thriving where others fail.
But shit it can hurt.
We've heard there are some sections of the trail absolutely thick with the stuff. One place combines Matagori with copious amounts of an equally tough native - the Spaniard.
We'd bought gators in Queenstown in preparation for this and the investment paid off today.
Half way through the day's journey we left the river for a steep climb up to 1270 metres that was followed by a steep drop to 470 metres and Roses Hut.
Skinks and grasshoppers were almost constant companions.
A trapline of DoC 150 and 200 was set all the way up and over the track to the hut. Many of the traps had been set off. We counted 4 dead stoats and a hedgehog on our way over. There were plenty of other traps that smelt bad so we knew they were proving useful too.
They weren't numbered and there was no signs telling us what the project was...but as we walked along a Kerearea sat watching us from a waratah as we approached. A clue perhaps.
We collapsed at the hut and did our chores for the day before we saw the two distant figures slowly coming down the track from the next hut on.
Jen and Carys were a couple of 19 year old school friends from Cleveland Ohio. They were waiting to start New Zealand university so decided to go for a walk. Twizel to Queenstown. They looked like seasoned trekkers.
They were quietly enjoying and taking their time.
In Arrowtown Ron had told us about an English girl who was running TeA from Bluff to Cape Reinga. We'd walked along the track after that expecting to be passed by her at any moment.
We expected a serious goal-driven alpha female with little time to talk and no sense of humour.
Anna is goal driven but that's where our bigoted stereotype hit a dead end.
She was a ball of energy and laughs. Most surprisingly she was patient. Time wasn't a problem. She'll get there eventually and was stopping regularly to speak to people and groups about her journey.
If that's not enough she's video blogging too. She pulled out her iPad and played us all her work to date.
It was BBC-grade stuff. Lonely Planet here she comes.
She had a bit of a thing for Ron...who had a bit of a thing for her too. We were sad we weren't going to be spending an evening with him and his guitar.
According to Anna he's got a great voice and country repetoire.
She rated his performance as 9.9 on the Contentment Scale.
C'est la vie.
Phrase of the day:
Type 2 fun - fun that isn't fun at the time but when you look back on it...was.