I said a couple of posts ago that we were about to become Slobos. (Slow Bound as opposed to Nobo, North Bound)
Today was testament to that.
6 kilometres along a track that was so easy we can't remember walking it.
The day's confusion was compounded by the fact that Stone Hut is almost an exact replica of Royal Hut.
It sits in quite a different setting, but on a cold grey day who's going to spend time outside noticing such trivia.
We ate. Read. Wrote.
I photographed the hut and the stuff in it. Old tins. Mustering lists. Cutlery.
Or did I do that yesterday at the other hut?
Late in the afternoon Braden (sorry if that's spelt wrong) arrived. He's a farm hand at Messie (Mesopotamia Station). He was guiding five friends and acquaintances on a Thar hunting expedition.
His mates turned up half an hour later. They were lugging huge packs full of beer, food, munitions and firewood.
A hunting party. (Thanks for the pun Andrew)
They'd tried to get to the hut in their Peloruses - mountain dune buggies.
Unfortunately they couldn't make it the whole way in, so had to leave heaps of their supplies behind. Which is probably a good thing cos they had way too much anyway.
Anna arrived just as they were about to head up the hill after a Thar that had been watching us. They scoped it from the hut then the youngest and fittest stormed up the hill...a mound that turned out to be a mountain when we looked back at it the next day
Anna had never met any Kiwi hunters before. A coincidence because none of the hunters had ever met anyone like Anna before either.
"You're running...New Zealand...?"
We ate our instant noodles that night thinking about the food and beer we were about to watch being consumed.
It was a strange thing.
Eventually the boys returned from the killing fields
Braden and his partner had shot four Thar and seen heaps more. The others weren't so lucky.
Quotes from the hunt:
"I got one right through the guts."
"It was only young. It was about the size of that Coke bottle. I blasted a hole right through its throat. The others [in its family] got covered in blood."
Everyone was happy.
The fire was lit. We talked. The guys drank their beer outside and yakked.
Braden, the guide, doesn't drink so stayed inside with us and the two younger guys.
He'd done Outward Bound and had some stories for Anna.
Eventually it became evident that it was bed time - usually a time to celebrate.
There were eight bunks and nine people. Being the tough types that we are we volunteered to top and tail on a single bunk with its single DoC mattress.
As the fire died our magnanimous gesture shriveled into eight hours of the most uncomfortable sleep I've ever had.
Life is good.