Te Araroa Trail – Day 66

Monday, January 8, 2024
Distance/ Total: 14.8 km / 9.2 mi

I slept great in my tent last night, but woke to find a heavy dew had caused everything to be wet this morning. I got around wiped down my tent the best I could and packed up my gear.

Claudio and I started out about 7:15. The first 3 km was a gravel road leading up to the top of a hill. I was able to get a signal at the top and checked my messages before heading down the track.

The trail is now a tramping track – meaning muddy, lots of roots, and steep ascents and descents. It started out with just a gradual descent and the mud wasn’t that bad. It’s been dry enough over the last couple of weeks that the mud was mostly dried up.

The trail climbed up about 200 meters over a hill and down the other side to a stream crossing. I made it across without getting my shoes wet (but they were muddy). Shortly after crossing the stream we repeated the same pattern – steep climb, steep descent, stream crossing. We stopped and took a few breaks when we could find flat ground to stop on.

The trail turned onto an old roadway that, although washed away in places, was a gradual ascent up the mountain. It was still a little muddy, but some pretty good trail otherwise.

Reaching the top of the gradual incline the trail joined a gravel road and about 1/2 kilometer later we came to the Tokomaru shelter. It was a steel building with a covered breezeway on one side. The shade felt good and we enjoyed our lunch there with another French couple going the TA as well.

It was barely 1:00 pm but in order to be in Levin for our hopeful PCT permit time slot on January 11th (here in NZ) we don’t need to push on any further. It’s an 18 km day to the next camp then a 4 km roadwalk to the trailhead near Levin.

I set out my tent to dry in the now hot sun and it was dry in about 15 minutes. I setup my tent and spent the rest of the afternoon in the breezeway enjoying the cool afternoon breeze.

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