Te Araroa Trail – Day 132

Monday March 18, 2024
Distance/ Total: 22.5 km / 14.0 mi

Although we were both up early this morning it took us a long time to get around. I packed up and headed down to the kitchen area to prepare me some hot coffee this morning. I didn’t get a chance to post any blogs last night so I worked on them this morning and got a few posted.

Shaun spent some time making plans for his trip to Stewart Island after he finishes the Te Araroa. I tried to make some doctor appointments for the 2 weeks I’ll be home in April, but couldn’t get the phone calls to go through.

About 9:00am we headed down to Bailez cafe’ and ordered the Trampers Breakfast – 2 eggs, 2 sausages, 3 strips of bacon, 2 hash browns, 2 pieces of rye bread, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, and 2 pancakes. It was exactly what a hungry tramper wants when he comes to town.

We finished our breakfast, put our packs on our back, and headed to the highway to catch a hitch back to the trailhead. We only had to wait about 10 minutes to catch a ride. It was from a guy from the UK who lives in Thailand and his girlfriend from Thailand. They were in New Zealand for a 2 week vacation and we’re heading to Queenstown. Fortunately for us our trailhead was on their way.

It was about 11:00am before we got to the trailhead and on the trail. The first 6km was a roadwalk on a farm road to Lower Princhester Hut. There were a couple of guys there and we visited about the trail ahead for a few minutes until the sandflies started biting me. He took our picture for us and we started up the trail.

The trail from here was 340m (1115’) climb up to Princhester saddle. The trail was in the forest and had lots of micro ups and downs and we climbed up through tree roots, rocks, and mud. After the big ascent the trail started descending. The descent wasn’t as steep and was a mixture of forest and meadows. The meadows were mostly bogs and our feet that we had kept dry jumping over and around mud puddles in the forest were now soaked.

The meadows were also poorly marked and full of tussocks making it difficult to find our way through the wet boggy ground. After about 7 hours of this we reached Aparima Hut. We still had about an hour of daylight left and broke down some of the firewood to fit in the small pot belly stove in the hut. We got a fire going and warmed the hut up.

Three other TA hikers arrived right at dusk and we all cooked and ate dinner in the warm hut while we visited with each other. As soon as dinner was done we all crawled into our bunks since we had already surpassed hiker midnight (9:00pm).

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