Woop woop!! Celebrating my 100th day on Te Araroa trail today 🙂
It was wonderful to have the 12 bunk Roses hut for only 4 of us last night. I’m so pleased I moved down country to miss the masses of SOBOs, especially now I’m meeting the NOBOs. I was out at 7am today, and immediately got stuck into the 500m climb. The others started a little after me. By 8.20am I’d made it to Roses saddle 1270m. I was overtaken by Curly, who trotted up and over the saddle with his light pack.
I descended the saddle down to the river. Max caught up and we immediately crossed the main river and had a small break on a huge flat rock. We then walked the remaining 4kms or so in the river. The trail notes suggested it was the quickest route during low flow. It was certainly very beautiful, and my favourite river walk so far, with sparkling clear water and lovely multicoloured rocks underfoot. It was mostly about knee deep with a few deeper parts, and we walked from bank to bank as the river meandered to Macetown.
We reached the start of Macetown at 11.45am and continued along a 4 wheel drive track. We stopped to look at some of the historical notice boards. This used to be a gold mining settlement, built in the 1860s then abandoned in the 1930s. Some buildings were renovated in 2008, but sadly I didn’t have time to fully look around.
After a very quick lunch I left Macetown at 1pm for the next 13kms into Arrowtown via the aptly named Big Hill track. I huffed and puffed during the 400m climb over the saddle, which I reached at 2.30pm. It was another clear sunny day, and extremely hot. Thanks goodness I’d refilled my water at Macetown! The track wasn’t quite as nice as the Motatapu track, and a portion of it was walking through tall tussock grassland. From the top it was a very long descent into Arrowtown which took another 2 hours.
Arrowtown is possibly the most beautiful little village in New Zealand! It’s a quirky little heritage town, population only 2000 (more than doubled with tourists I would imagine) with a rich mining history. I found the Patagonia choclatier, and enjoyed a huge ice-cream, and a fresh juice.
I stayed at the Arrowtown Holiday Park a short walk from the main street. When I got settled I checked my feet. I was pleasantly surprised at the state of them, when I took my still-wet socks off. Given they’d been wet for the past 6 hours, they were in pretty decent shape with no sign of any new blisters. I have been using the emmolient cream the doctor prescribed (essentially, Sudocrem), so along with the steroid cream it seems like a winning formula.