11th jan wed. Te Araroa 102

Manuka Hut 2283km to opposite side of Rangitata river 2316km + 8km (41km)

Rangitata River Hazard Zone

Manuka hut

Travelling alone again today, hadn’t seen anyone all day expect the guy I shared the hut with that asked a million questions about my travel. Has worked as a correction officer for the courts and in his spare time he would do different hikes with his camping equipment that was over 30 years old, the only new thing he had he said was a gas cooker. But being 60 years old he was definitely fit as he also puts on his runners and with his gear left in the hut, he would jog on various tracks.

The track along the hill

My feet are really sore, probable from all the rock climbing and river crossings from yesterday.
Both feet are really sensitive, all the muscles around the feet are sore, I’ve rubbed Anti inflammatory Gel which helps but I know resting would be better. Problem is I need to get to Lake Tekapo sometime Saturday.

I finally made it to the car park where the trail stops due to a hazardous river crossing, it’s advised not to cross unless water level is very low. This is what it says in the notes : 

“Trampers are urged not to risk a foot crossing”

But getting around this to the other side isn’t straightforward, I have emails and phone numbers to contact a company that will drive me the 90km road trip to the other side. But there’s no mobile reception.

I got taking with my hut mate last night and he said it should be OK to cross as long as you are careful, such as brown water, don’t cross, raining, don’t cross, if in doubt, again, don’t cross. He was a local of the area and has kayaked the river many times and with being no rain for the last 3-4 days. he felt confident that I should be able to cross.

I arrived at the car park where two German’s were resting sitting in deck chairs, they were touring around the south island with 3 weeks in total, next stop for them was Lake Tekapo, I was so tempted to ask for a lift to save me having to do this horrible river crossing and 3 days of hard hiking before arriving into Lake Tekapo. But I didn’t.

I was starving, so after some cheese pasta and rested, I made my way to the three major river crossing I need to do.
I placed everything in the garbage bags in my backpack that I used as cheap water proof liners. It’s a long walk just to get to the river, 4 kms and to my surprise, the crossings were very easy and most were below my knees  and all my concerns for the crossing was for nothing.

Long day, started walking at 7:30am and started setting up my tent at 8:30pm under very strong winds was a real challenge.