18th Jan Wednesday. Te Araroa 109
2512km Tin hut private hut to Stodys hut 2539km (27km)
Yesterday Ken and I passed the 2500km mark, so it’s less than 500km to go.
We are travelling in the windy part of the country and last night it rained heavy. Hopefully it will be ok during the day where our average distance is now 30km.
First up was a two hour climb up over Mt Martha Saddle. It was relatively easy going as we followed a 4 wheel track, once on top, for a change the air was nice and carm with the clouds breaking up.
We carried on down the valley, meeting a sole women that was only doing the south island, she started boxing day in Bluff , about three weeks ago.
The hut we had our second breakfast at 11am, was Top Timaru Hut re-built in 2011.
Looks like the hut is on a trail where hourses go as the ground around the hut was very damaged. No fire place in this hut but it was a nice little hut and I’d preferred to stay in this one than the Tin hut that I staid at last night.
Following the river was difficult this afternoon, it rained as down as we left the hut and it keeped raining untill late in the afternoon. Back to the river crossings and many climbs that runs along the river bank. Some of these climbs were very challenging given the wet conditions and there were a number of time I slipped. Both feet were wet for most of the day and the narrow path was putting strain on my ankles.
Last part of the day with only 2.5km to go but the challenging past was the 500m climb. On the signage at the intersection before heading up, said it will take up to 2 hours. I took every minute of that time and some more. It got to be the most challenging segment I’ve had in the south island, it was tough . I arrived at the hut totally exhausted and thankfully Ken had a fire happening that made the hut a welcome relief.
It continued to rain on out tin hut, it’s a 6 bunk hut but I used the bottom beds as it gets difficult to climb down the ladder with tender feet.
We had to watch out for mice in this hut, the lady we meet on the trail said another TA walking camped outside than stay in the hut, I couldn’t see any evidence but we hung our backpacks from the ceiling just to make sure.