Te Araroa Trail – Day 94

Friday February 9, 2024
Distance/ Total: 22.7 km / 14.1 mi

The hut was too warm and the mattress too flat to be comfortable last night. I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable but never could get things just right.

The hut started coming alive about 6:15am and I got up and moved my gear to the common area to keep from waking others up. Despite my early rising it was almost 7:30am before I got started down the trail.

The trail followed the Henry River upstream for a short distance then turned onto the shore of the Anne River. There was a bridge over the river and some great views up the valley.

The trail was a gradual ascent and there were several swampy places that I just had to wade through. As the trail continued further up the river there were a few boardwalks over these swampy areas.

I stopped about 9:30 and ate breakfast and a couple of South Island Robins were pretty curious. They don’t seem to have a fear of people and would come right up to me. I’m sure they were hoping for some food.

As I got up to get back on the trail Erik (from the Netherlands) came walking by and we walked the next 10 km together. It was good to get to know him better and we talked about everything from hiking to politics (seems everyone in the world is interested in US politics).

I’ve had politics discussions with several people on the trail and the common question that keeps coming up is “in a country of 330 million people is Biden & Trump the best we could come up with?” Seems like a fair question to me, unfortunately I cannot explain how that happened either.

We stopped at the Boyles Flat hut for lunch and I took my shoes and socks off and they dried pretty quickly in the afternoon sun.

Back on the trail I wanted to hike about 8 more kilometers so I could make tomorrow a 15km day. However looking at the topo map of the trail the only flat area seemed to be about 5-7km from the hut. I filled up my water bottles for a dry camp at 4.4 km and then found a nice spot in a field under some trees about 5.2km. A little earlier than I liked, but it was a nice place and I didn’t know if another one would be available.

I set up my tent in a swarm of sandflies and threw all my gear inside. I sat outside for awhile trying to watch a Netflix movie on my phone and finally gave up and crawled inside my tent too. I then spent the next few minutes killing about 30 sandflies that made their way in when I had the door open.

After the movie, I cooked dinner and as I was cooking, John and Laur (a couple from the USA) showed up at the campsite. They setup a little ways away and I noticed they crawled inside pretty quickly too.

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