10th December, Te Araroa 70 day
Queen Charlotte Sound track
1,727km Camp Bay Campground DOC to Communication building free camp 1,753km
Nice and early departure, leaving behind the quite campsite to carry along the track with the hope of better weather. First couple of hours was great, sure it was up and down carrying my heavy backpack but that was worth it when viewing the sunrise with not a sole about. Soon the rain came, not as bad as the first day on this track, but still it rained and I was getting wet and cold.
Lunch time I found a shelter, Blackrock shelter, and boiled water for my Korean army food of Kimchi, Bibimbap. Just add hot water up to a line on the inside of the package and 10 minutes latter it’s ready. I cannot read Korean but I know it’s got Carrots, mushrooms and other green vegetables and then there’s the sources that’s spices things up a bit. At a 100grams of package weight, it was nice and almost filling, however I could have done with two of these packages, but then I’m always hungry on the trail with snake bars at the ready on the side of my packpack pockets.
Three students, fast walkers, caught up with me while I was eating my lunch, they were only wearing a T-shirt and dripping wet and not really feeling the cold but latter out came the woolen jumpers as they cooked their BackCountary food packs of just adding hot water.
An hour rest was long enough for me and the rain had eased a little, I hadn’t had a particular plan of how are or where to camp for the night just a goal to do at least 25kms today and see then how I feel.
I passed a DOC campsite and was tempted to stop for the night but at 4pm I felt I could still travel on. But if I stopped and read my notes, I probably would have changed my mind as there were to be a lot of hill climbs in the late afternoon but this also gave me great views of the many Bays putting aside the cold and rain.
Generally the track was well maintained with very little mud puddles to navigate around. At the top of the hill, I found a spot that I could see from a distance that would be a perfect place to call home for the night. It took over half an hour to get there, it was a small building for communications and if I positioned my tent correctly, I would be out of sight from any passer byes and with the knee height grass, it provided ideal conditions instead of the DOC sites that hard ground to sleep on. I was tired, just lying there on my mat relaxing in the sun was a real treat and a bad move as eventually I knew I had to get up and setup my tent.
View of where I camped for the night
I didn’t plan to camp here for the night and with very little water, I only had enough to have a very basic meal and no coffee for the night or the following morning. There was a drum against the building that looked promising and did contain water, but as I moved it, you could see rust stained water getting mixed with the clean, No thanks.