Te Araroa Trail Day 104. Lake Howden Campsite – Greenstone hut 2725.3kms

Te Araroa Trail Day 104 - Greenstone track

I woke at 6.30am  then listened to the light rain on my tent as I thought about getting up. I love being in my tent when it’s raining, the downside being you have to pack a wet tent. I enjoyed cold overnight-soaked oats (my gas has to last 5 days) and a boost vitamin drink. The rain stopped momentarily, so I jumped up, threw everything out of the tent and packed up. The tent has to be packed first, so I quickly packed it then everything else, just before the rain came again.

Te Araroa Trail Day 104 - Greenstone track
Te Araroa Trail Day 104 – Greenstone track

The Greenstone track was through lovely beech forest initially, and was pretty easy going. I was overtaken by a man trail running, and wished I could be him for the morning, and travel lightly & without my pack. I reached McKellar hut at 9.50am and had a quick break. I continued on to Greenstone hut (where I would rejoin Te Araroa trail) via the Greenstone track alongside the Greenstone river. The trail went through grasslands of the wide river valley, or in beech forest, and over the occasional rock fall to the side.

I had several encounters with cows in the grasslands, and I had one at close quarters with a bull who was alone, and directly on the trail in front of me. I gave him a wide berth, and he continued to walk down the trail, then he began a slow, low repetitive moo – which I took to mean ‘leave me alone lady’… So I walked quite far out of my way to avoid him until I was able to get back on trail.

It rained on and off for most of the day, but eventually cleared up a bit. My legs felt like lead today. I probably over-did it a bit yesterday, and could/should have slept a bit later this morning. The trail was really nice, but felt like it went on for miles longer than the almost 26km. I was really glad to reach Greenstone hut at around 2.50pm. I’d been entertaining the idea of going to the next hut this morning (3 or 4 hours away) but there was no chance of that!

Te Araroa Trail Day 104 - Mossy forest on the Greenstone track
Te Araroa Trail Day 104 – Mossy forest on the Greenstone track

The Greenstone hut is quite popular as it’s the hub of several walks in the area. I camped behind the hut. There were numerous people there already, from the UK, Germany, Australia, France & USA. The sun came out and I had an early dinner at 4.30pm. Trouble was I was hungry again by 7.30pm. I didn’t really bring enough snacks on this stretch. I must do a bigger resupply in Te Anau in a few days time.

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