Te Araroa Trail – Day 133

Tuesday March 19, 2024
Distance/ Total: 21.4 km / 13.3 mi

After the long day yesterday we slept in this morning and didn’t get on the trail until after 9:00am. The trail left camp and followed a ridge line to a suspension bridge across the Aparima River. After crossing the bridge we were right back into the bogs. We crossed the bog for about 30 minutes then entered the forest. This track was similar to yesterday- lots of roots, deadfall, and muddy patches. It was still better than walking in a bog.

The forest trail had lots of micro ups and downs as well as a few 100 meter hills that we went up and down. The going was slow as we worked our way through Takitimu Forest.

We worked our way through the forest and reached Lower Wairaki Hut about 3:30. The sign said 9 km and 8 hours to Telford Campsite (our goal for the night). The TA notes said 4 hours. I sure hope the TA notes are correct.

Leaving the hut it was a 550 meter climb over 4.4km to the top of the mountain. It was a steep muddy climb to the top, but we made it in 2 hours. Now only 3.6km downhill to the campsite.

The trail down was over a rocky ridgeline and the trail was not visible in some places. We picked our way down a few rocky slopes and were able to find a better trail as we got lower. The rocky top of the mountain gave way to a grassy field and once again we were in slippery mud on a mountain side.

The grassy field gave way to a brushy area and we pushed our way through the brush as we continued downward. As we approached the Telford Burn valley it returned to a grassy field and we made our way down to the camp. It was 7:30, we made it in 4 hours.

We looked around the campsite and selected 2 flat sites for the night. The sandflies were voracious and I quickly applied insect repellent to keep them from biting me. They still hovered around me in a cloud, but didn’t land on me and bite. I setup my tent, threw my gear in real fast and headed down to the stream to collect some water and wash off my socks and gaiters that were encased in mud.

I returned to the tent quickly jumped in and only let 3 sandflies in the process. I felt that was quite an accomplishment. I cleaned up in my tent and cooked dinner in my vestibule to avoid the sandflies.

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