Te Araroa Trail – Day 110
I woke at 5.30 am with the noise of my tent flapping in the strong wind. I got going at 6.30 am with Llew. Legend has it, that “it’s all downhill from Queenstown” which of course is absolute rubbish!! and even though we were pretty much out of the Takitimu mountains, today started with a steady climb. Llew was pushing on for another big day, so I walked alone.
Mt Linton Station Te Araroa Trail
Today’s the trail took me across Mt Linton Station. (A ‘station’ is a really big farm dedicated to grazing sheep/cattle). Walkers must take care to stick to the designated route, leave all gates as found and not disturb the stock. I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this. It was a beautiful walk with lots of ups and downs, plenty of variety in the scenery and just a couple of river crossings – which were pretty low.
I reached the second river crossing at 9 am and refilled my water, as this was the last refill stop before Birchwood. I’ve been drinking so much recently – I carried three litres of water from here. It was a really windy day and the small clouds raced across the sky. The whole of today’s trail was exposed with no shade at all. It was so windy in places that I was buffeted around and unable to walk in a straight line!
There was a good variety of wildlife today, different types of sheep and some huge black Aberdeen Angus cows. At one point a large bird of prey swooped in really low over my head. I thought he was trying to dive bomb me until he went back for the second time and continued really low beyond me then rose up and caught a thermal.
I got into Sarah and Dean’s place at Birchwood Station hut at around 3.30 pm. I was joined by Lucas (Belgian/Scot) about 30 mins later. The hut was very rustic and used to be the old shearer’s hut. It had been kitted out with a little kitchen, bunks, lounge and a really hot shower! I washed both myself and my clothes and hung them up to dry outside. A little later Sarah brought a HUGE dinner over for Lucas – he’d ordered one earlier for $15. I was absolutely gutted that I hadn’t ordered one – it looked amazing!
In the evening Lucas and I sat on the verandah and watched a huge storm come in. It went from very windy (from the North) hot and sticky – to absolutely still and silent – to very windy (from the South) and cold… yes, cold !! All in the space of about 45 minutes! I’m actually back to wearing two merino jumpers tonight! We’ll see what the storm brings tonight and whether I will walk tomorrow.