Te Araroa Trail – Day 67
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Distance/ Total: 21.9 km / 13.6 mi
Another night of great sleep in my tent. And today I woke up to a dry camp. No fee last night. I packed up and Claudio and I were on the trail at 7:00 am.
The trail started with a roadwalk gradually uphill for about 3 km. The trail then left the road and began a tramping track. It was still an ascent but wasn’t too steep to start with. There were several ups and downs but the trail was mostly an ascent up the mountain. As we neared the top there were a couple of overlooks where we could see down into the valley below.
The trail then began a descent into the valleys. It was a muddy, rooted trail with some steep areas but overall not too bad. The mud was a little worse on this side of the mountain and it became practically impossible to avoid all the mud puddles on the way down.
The trail eventually leveled off and began to follow a stream on an old road cut into the side of the mountain. Unfortunately the stream seemed to have washed some of the trail away in previous years and the trail was jumping from one side of the stream to the other and back again. There must have been at least a dozen crossings of the shallow stream over about 2 km.
The forest eventually thinned and the road continued through a campground situated in a clearing. We stopped at a picnic table and ate lunch.
From here the trail was mainly farm roads through some fields, across another stream, and eventually joined a gravel road.
It was a 4.5 km roadwalk from there to the junction that led to Levin. We stopped there and hitch hiked for about 15 minutes before getting picked up. The driver who picked us up was desperately trying to kill all three of us as he sped down the narrow winding road at excessive speed, passing cars, and braking hard when he was unable to pass.
We made it to Levin alive and he dropped us off about 1 kilometer from our motel. We were glad to get out and walk the rest of the way. We checked into the motel, showered snd changed into clean clothes feeling much better.
We went to dinner later that evening and spent the rest of the day planning our next section of hiking and talking about the PCT.