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Buck30 - Te Araroa Trail Journal - 2012

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Brian (Buck-30)
Begins: Dec 6, 2012
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Mar 3rd, 2012
Start: Hurunui No. 3 Hut
End: Taramakau River
Daily Distance: 14
Trip Distance: 1,359.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 611
Journal Visits: 82,270
Guestbook Views: 2,782
Guestbook Entrys: 61

Te Araroa Trail - Day 85

Cold, Cold Rain

It rained steady all night and we both slept in hoping it would stop but it was not to be. We started hiking after 9 and it was one of the coldest walks of the trip. We were fairly low (less than 2,000') but it was very cold and the rain soaked us quickly. But worse was the shitty, shitty trail. Narrow, rooty and very overgrown it soaked us and slowed us down terribly. Overall, I wasn't terribly cold except my fingers were freezing and numb. It's always my fingers that bother me the most and I can never find good gloves. These Sealskinz waterproof gloves suck just like every other pair I've tried. We were following the Hurunui river upstream and it was flowing powerful from all the rains. When we were nearing its source we had to do 3 very difficult fords of it, made more difficult by the fact that we were getting cold and our feet were like blocks of us. Twice we had to bushwack through dense vegetation to find an ok spot on the river to ford. Once we did, the river was only mid-thigh deep but very strong and like fording a Class 4 rapid. We then climbed to Harpers Pass and the surrounding peaks a few hundred meters higher had significant snow on them. This is still summer!!

For whatever reason the other side of this low pass was warmer and my feet and fingers quickly thawed and the pain in my fingers thawing was pretty intense for a short bit. Very painful. Then it was just a steep walk down in the continued rain and after 5 hours of brutal hiking with no water, food or peeing I hit the hut and at that exact moment the sun came out. We've had 2 major storms on the south island and the forecast nailed the start and end absolutely perfect. Almost unbelievable. The forecast was rain the last 2.5 days and then clearing this afternoon which is exactly what happened. We took a 2 hour break at the hut and I ate and drank a lot and amazingly the sun stayed out mostly and everything dried out. It was like the morning never happened.

We decided to try and continue on even though the streams coming up were questionable for crossing with all the rain. The walk down the Taramakau river was quite nice as we just followed the grassy and rocky river valley all the way. There were rarely any markers but all we had to do was go down the valley. We did have to ford the river twice and it was crotch deep at the best spot I could find and a decently tough crossing. We were aiming for a small hut but it was on the other side of the river and I could tell Annie didn't really want to cross again so we decided to camp instead. The sunset was gorgeous and a huge rainbow went from one side of the valley to the other. And then the weka's attacked. Apparently we made our camp in the grass right next to a weka nest in the forest because there were 4 weka's that went nuts and weren't the least bit afraid of us. One ran off with Annie's stove and she had to chase it into the forest. They were coming right up to the tent and pecking at everything. I didn't want them pecking through my tent and we couldn't take it anymore and actually braved the thousands of sandflies and packed up everything, walked 10 minutes and set up camp again. Only on the Te Araroa.

Quote of the Day:

Annie: We made it, we survived another day.

Entry 90 of 173
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Journal Photo

Te Araroa Trail (3,000 Crazy Kilometers Through New Zealand)

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