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Alistair and Gail
Begins: Nov 1, 2017
Date: Thu, Mar 8th, 2018
Start: Camp Stream hut - km 2389
End: Lake Tekapo holiday park - from km 2423.5
Daily Distance: 34.5
Trip Distance: 2,450.0
Hours Hiked: 10.5
Daily Ascent: 300
Daily Descent: 790
Min Elevation: 710
Max Elevation: 1200
Min Temp: 0
Max Temp: 22
People Met: 2
Entry Visits: 133
Journal Visits: 11,658
Guestbook Views: 227
Guestbook Entrys: 18
Great views for the whole long day
I wake at 6:15 and look at the thermometer on my pack in the vestibule and it shows +5C. I get up and get the muesli ready and the thermometer shows 0C, the coldest morning of the trip so far. But this shows how 2 bodies in a tent can generate some heat and we were probably warmer in the tent than the folks in the hut. We get packed up and by the time we leave at 7:50 all the others are awake.
We keep all of our clothing on - t shirt, long sleeved shirt, fleece, rain jacket, shorts and rain pants in my case - as we walk down to the bottom of the valley for the inevitable early morning stream crossing. Yes it is cold and there are a couple more before we start a 200m climb climb up out of the valley after 3kms. Only now do we get into the sunshine and take some clothing off. At the top of the climb we get views of most of Lake Tekapo and the mountains to the north and west. We see Mount Cook and several other glaciated peaks. There is a band of cloud across the lower parts of some of the peaks. We stop for our morning break to enjoy the view more. Tobias, then Jenny then Karima all stop briefly as they head towards lake tekapo. After about 45 minutes we hike on and have the view of the lake and back to the mountains for much of the time as we head south. We cross the round hill ski area road rather than do a right on to the road and left off it as the map suggests and carry on south on a generally good and mostly level track. At about 12:30 we see jenny and karima stopped on a knoll and we join them and have some lunch too. The weather had briefly clouded in over some of the hills and stag saddle but now all is clear again. The other 2 head on and soon kirsten and vivian arrive and stop briefly. We are packing up and follow them along the track.
We turn more west as we follow the track down the right side of Boundary stream. There are some merino sheep grazing. At around 14:00 we stop for a drink. We consider what to do after lake tekapo. The TA notes say that the next camping place is 42 kms away as there's no camping allowed by the canal and if you cannot hike that in a day you should rent a bike for the section. Gail phones 2 bike rental companies listed in the notes and one says you have to collect your bike at 7:15 in the morning from a shuttle at a bus stop in lake tekapo, the other will send an e-mail with details. At 13:15 we have 23 kms to hike to get to Lake Tekapo so we would not be there until late today. The views continue to be excellent as we get closer to the road along the east side of the lake. We stop again after an hour and get some details from the other company. Gail emails back for the time. At about 16:00 we reach the road and are now 16 kms from Lake Tekapo. After another phone call we find the arrangement is the same for the other company. We decide to book bikes with them for tomorrow and we will get to town either tonight or early tomorrow.
Despite a southerly breeze it feels very warm heading south along the road as the sun is shining from across the lake and reflecting in the lake. 2 of the others wave from a truck as they are hitching to town. We do get offered rides on 3 occasions but decline them as we are walking the whole TA route. We see more sheep and views of some different mountains as we continue down the road. The wind is north easterly and cloud is billowing over the ridge to the east but there is clear sky above it. After 13 kms on the road we branch onto a lakeshore track. Gail would like to be in town so as to be close for tomorrow morning, I would be Ok camping before town. Gail tries phoning a backpackers at about 20:15 but no answer. We walk on past a collie dog tribute statue and get to the parking area and the bus stop by the four square in Lake Tekapo village at 20:45. The four square is closed!! We decide our only legal option is to go to the holiday park so we walk almost another km to it, take forms for a site as the office is closed and find site 145 at 21:15. We are tired and weary.
The kitchen area is quite a way away so I cook supper at the site while Gail puts up the tent. Same menu as last night with cookies for dessert. A german couple arrive at the next site and we have to hear their music but luckily it stops soon after we are in the tent at 20:15. No note writing tonight as the alarm is set for 5:45 so we are a the bus stop for 7:15 tomorrow morning.
Alistair And Gail Hike Te Araroa
Te Araroa is a 3000-km trail stretching from Cape Reinga in the North of New Zealand to Bluff in the South. Down the coastline, through the forest, across farmland, over volcanoes and mountain passes, along river valleys, and on green pathways through seven cities. Learn more: www.teararoa.org.nz
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