Te Araroa Trail – Day 103

Sunday February 18, 2024
Distance/ Total: 9.7 km / 6 mi

The four of us got up early and started up the trail about 6:40am. We had left the remainder of our gear in the Alpine Club Lodge in Arthur’s Pass and checkout is at 10:00 am.

The trail climbed a short distance up to Goat Pass and then traveled across the pass on a series of boardwalks. The first part of the trail was pretty quick and easy as we started down the Mingha River valley.

We walked past Kennedy Falls on the descent, a magnificent tall waterfall dropping into the valley. The descent was pretty steep into the valley floor then became more gradual near the bottom.

Once the river became more gradual the trail became more like the previous few days. It would go in and out of the forest, across meadows, and over rocks and boulders in the river bottom. There were several rock scrambles and some steep descents that made us glad we hadn’t tried this in the dark last night.

The trail eventually reached a large flood plain of the Mingha River and we crossed a large meadow and crossed the river several times. The Mingha River joined the Bealey River and we crossed several braids of the Bealey River to reach Highway 73.

Up on the highway we took a short break in a pull off and started to discuss how we wanted to hitch into town. While we were talking Isabel had here thumb out and a couple of vans pulled in and asked if we needed a ride. It was two couples from Boston who have been sailing around the world and stopped in New Zealand to sight see.

We arrived back in Arthur’s Pass about 11:00am and booked another night at the lodge so we could get organized for the next section. We ate a late breakfast and headed back to the lodge. We were the only ones there when we arrived and our gear was just as we had left it 2 days ago.

I showered and sprayed my hiking clothes with some odor eliminating spray and set it out in the sun to dry. I spent the afternoon catching up on my blog post and repairing my hiking shirt which had developed a hole in the shoulder where my pack straps rubbed it. I spent some time visiting with other hikers as they arrived in for the night and posted several blogs post trying to get caught up.

I went to dinner with Shaun, a hiker from Minnesota, and we talked about the Appalachian Trail and other trails we had both hiked. Back at the lodge, I visited a little more before turning in for the night.

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