Te Araroa – Day 34

Rangiriri to Hakarimata Summit – 31km (734 total)

The day started with a stopbank walk from Rangiriri to Huntly, however, I missed the stile to get onto the stopbank and I could have walked the 200m back to find it but I just continued to walk adjacent to it on the road. It was a good decision, as I briefly got back onto it when it intersected with the road and the 1km I spent on it was long wet grass. Argh, I’ll take a road walk over long wet grass.

In Huntly, I got the essentials. Coke, an ice cream and water! πŸ˜‰ I was planning on camping in the forest at the summit tonight and there would be no water, so I needed to make sure I had enough water for the walk and dinner at night.

I got the first 20km done by 1pm. I was hoping that would be enough time to do the last 10km, because it was a climb up into a forest and the timing was predicted to be about 6-7 hours. The rain continued on and off during the afternoon, which does not worry me with my trusty umbrella. However, the umbrella cannot protect me from wet overgrowth and I was soon wet as I battled my way through an overgrown trail of ferns and brush.

Photos never do justice. Stairs that just kept going and going and going…
Looking back at Huntly from halfway up the climb

Despite getting wet. I did enjoy the afternoon. It was nice to be back in a forest and off of roads and stopbanks with their long grass. I enjoyed the challenge of climbing and finding my way through mud and over roots. Crazy, I know. I will probably be hating it again real soon, but for now it was great. I made good time, making it to the summit by 6pm and set about getting changed into warm, dry clothes and cooking my dinner, while I waited for the hoards of walkers who come up to the lookout at the summit as exercise to stop coming up, so that I could set up my tent.

Just a few of the many roots I walked on.

Today I am thankful for a dry tent and clothes.

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