Te Araroa – Day 106

(Geraldine) Bush Stream Trail Head to Stone Hut – 18km (2323km total)

We arranged a lift around the Rangitata River with Wayne from Geraldine. He was picking us up at 8.15am. So I walked down to the cafe for breakfast at 7.45am. Yes, you guessed it pancakes and chai sent me on my way.

It took about an hour to get out to the trail head, so it was after 9.30am by the time we started walking. The track followed the river up for most of the morning, before a steep climb for 3km up to the hut. By that time the full midday sun was out and it was hot. By the time we got to the hut, we all collapsed in its cool shade. However, there was more climbing to do, Another 2.7km up to the saddle.

Early morning cloud over the Rangitata River

I took the climb up to the saddle slow and it was fine. I then thought we were home and hose with only 7km left to the hut, all mostly downhill. However, those 7km took forever. The orange markers were few and far between, leaving us to guess where the track was among the long tussock grass and also to wonder if we were even going in the right direction. Walking in the grass also made for slow going. Eventually the hut came into view. It was after 6.30pm by the time I got to the hut. That is the latest I’ve made camp in quite a while.

The river the track follows up The Valley, then the steep climb begins

As I walked into the hut, I saw a little mouse dash along the wall. I hang my food in all huts, but tonight I was extra diligent about it, Here’s hoping that there are no mouse shenanigans in the middle of the night.

Today I am thankful for huts to rest from the midday sun in.

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