Te Araroa Trail Bealey to Hamilton Hut
We woke up around 7 am and got ourselves together. Bill from The Sanctuary gave us a lift to the Cora Lynn Road junction for a small fee. Today’s walk climbed to Lagoon Saddle before following the Harper river to Hamilton hut. We started walking at around 9.30 am. My pack was very heavy with around 10 days’ worth of food (which, in hindsight was way too much for this stretch!)
Bealey Hut to Lagoon Saddle
The trail (which is part of the Cass-Lagoon Saddle track) was initially pretty steep through beech forest and pine before heading up in tussock around Mount Bruce to the Lagoon Saddle. We reached the very cool Lagoon Saddle hut around 12.30 pm where we met Phil and had a quick break.
Harper River to Hamilton Hut
From there it was downhill to the Harper River, which we crossed easily, numerous times. We passed West Harper hut and popped in for a look.
We reached the very substantial 20-bed Hamilton hut around 3.30 pm. I performed some surgery on a small but quite nasty infection on the side of my left big toe, then had dinner and chatted to my hut buddies until hiker midnight (8 pm!). It was cool to see Ti (Kiwi, Hamilton) and Kirsten (US, Piha) again.
Just as I wast was about to go to sleep I realised I’d split my shoes again today on a weak point, so I had to darn them. They only have 10 days to go, so I really hope they can last!! Worst case scenario – I can wrap duct tape around the entire front of the shoe.