Te Araroa Trail St James Walkway
Today was my biggest day so far…42kms!! I woke at 5.15 am camped in the shelter of Waiau hut and it was freezing!! There was an actual frost brrrr….. and it was really difficult to get out of my sleeping bag and under way. I later heard that Mike’s tent, shoes and socks had all frozen overnight!
I left at 6.45 am. The trail today was mostly flat along wide river valleys in the istunning St James Conservation Area. It started with some beautiful sections through grasslands, which although very lovely were very, very wet with just-above-freezing temperature dew. My shoes, socks, shorts and gloves were soaked in no time. Plus there were multiple river crossings. I lost the feeling in my feet and raced along the trail to keep warm!!
Towards Anne Hut
At about 8.30am the sun came over the mountains and I stopped to bask in it to warm up. The trail was beautiful with views from the valley floor up across to the Spenser mountain range and St James range. I met some horse riders, and DOC staff along the way. I reached Anne hut at 12.30pm. Shortly afterwards I was joined by Kim and Mike. Mike and I walked on together and made decent progress, through the beech forest and the few small ups and downs.
We passed Rokeby hut and then arrived at Boyle hut around 6 pm. The hut was pretty busy again so we camped on a nice little spot just above the river. The others from Waiau hut came in a couple of hours later.