A walk through an enchanted sapling forest led to views across the Dart River to Chinaman's Bluff in the fading light.
Then we were into the Beans Burn...
The walk down Hidden Falls Creek saw us going back into the forest and becoming particularly concerned to spot the humble rock cairns that marked our route.
The next day dawned moody, with weather closing in as we departed Lake Narine.
We traversed across to North Col, finally made use of our the crampons and ice axes that had been weighing us down, and descended steep semi-permanent snow, into the north branch of the Routeburn.
By then we were in persistent rain. After initial easy travel below the col we encountered thick scrub and struggled to unlock the code to easy travel. Slippery rocks added to the treachery, but we eventually navigated the sparse rock cairns to find a good ground trail. This was followed by terrain varying between frustratingly large grass mounds and enormous ancient moraine boulders. Our senses were heightened by the lush scents released from the scrub by our barging bodies and the garish colours lurking in the foliage.
As we reached the river flats and started to feel hungry, we realised that Moir's Guide mentioned a rock bivvy nearby. We hunted out Hobbs Bivvy and had a very pleasant lunch sheltered from the rain.