Mid Wairoa Hut to Hunters Hut – 17km (1896km total)
Today was a tough day for me. I wanted to yell at the Te Araroa and its trail. It actually wasn’t any worse than some other sections that I have done, but I think I am physically tired, so I was on the struggle bus.
The morning started following the river up, which sounds pleasant, but the trail was thin, rocky and rooty. So it was slow going and at times there was a steep drop down directly into the river. Then there were a few rocks faces to get up, which were not that high, but my legs are not long enough and with the steep drop down to the river, it was tough. At one spot I took my bag off, threw it up and hoped it wouldn’t then roll into the river and then got myself up without my pack on. I also managed to slip into the river when crossing on slippery rocks and then on another rock I slipped and ended up turtled on my back wedged between rocks, so I had to unbuckle my pack to get up.
Then after Top Wairoa Hut, the trail became exposed and the sun zapped my energy. It was an 800m climb up on dry, dusty, rocky trail, which was kind of like walking on mars. It was beautiful, very different from what we had been walking through. Once I got up onto the ridge line I felt a bit better. Our maps took us up a 1600m peak and I saw my friend ahead of me, as a small speak traversing a ridgeline up the peak and it looked crazy. This small speck with a drop off either side. I kept following the markers and noticed that I was off the trail that was marked on the map, but I kept following the markers and found that they took us around the base of the peak 100m below and I was fine with that. Later I found out from my friend that there was no trail up the peak, he created his own, because that is where the map went. I am glad I just kept following markers.
On the walk down to Hunters Hut I felt better. It was still dry and rocky, but it was only really steep in a few places, mostly it was a gradual drop down, which was nice.
At the hut, I cooked up a big pot of noodles and couscous, with the hope that it would give me some energy back. Here is hoping tomorrow is better and that the Richmond Ranges stop kicking my butt!
Today, I am thankful for big pots of noodles and couscous.