We did this route on the 22/08/2020.
Followed the same path, the descent is not the best, agreed, but it was "fun". We had to cross the river, so we had to go along it till we found a place to cross. Well, as Peter Walker already noticed before us, the ground on the forest is solid till proven otherwise. I will say that part is the hardest and slowest of the trail, also the wettest and we crossed the river barefoot!
I really enjoyed besides the fog at the beginning and the last part of the forest.
Point 4: The ground isn't 'very soft'...the ground 'really needs you to pause and evolve some gills' would be more accurate.
Cracking walk though.