No issues with the rat. We had a container for our food and hung our packs. We both slept well but obviously neither of us stoked the fire so it was freezing in the morning and we both slept in till about 7:40. We got moving slowly and watched as the rain constantly stopped and started. Eventually we set out with our rain gear on and hiked to the start of the next track.
As we started the next track the rain turned on full and we were getting heavily blasted by strong wind and lashing rain as we set out to climb up farm track.
The climb was steep but along well established track and the weather turned on and off as we went up. By the time we got to the top we were both sweating but also to cold to stop.
Along the ridge we crossed into more forest area and were following along a nice easy 4WD track that led to native bush.
The native bush was a nice change and the track was pretty easy. The weather was holding a little clearer here so we went ahead and had a break for lunch in the forest as well.
After lunch we descended through the forest and exited the track back on nice 4WD path to the road.
Once we hit the road we had another 3kms to go before our next forest section and by now the wind was stupidly intense. We were getting buffeted all over the place and could hardly stand or see. The rain was pretty consistently turning on and off still so we had that to contend with as well. I’m sure we looked quite funny to the farmers stumbling along the road.
We took a quick break once under the protection of the pine trees and then continued on up and over Island Bush. It was again an easy 4WD track but this was somehow really muddy and the going was quite tough. There was one section that broke off into the actual forest and it was fun to move quickly between the trees but other than that it was just slogging through mud.
Finally we ended the day with another tough few kms on road (a much busier highway) before turning off towards Longwood Forest and reaching the private hut we would be staying at.
The hut is a tiny little 5-bunk accommodation with a nice covered deck. It’s a great little place to stop and very sheltered from the wind and rain. It was even stacked with snacks and we’ve eaten through Tim Tams, Afghans, Cheesies, and some more cans of tuna. Another hiker showed up (he was dropped off in a car…) at around 6pm. He’s one of those who skip sections and hike various parts in odd orders. He’s a nice bloke though so we’ve spent the evening chatting with him and getting ready for tomorrow.