Te Araroa Trail – 42 Traverse
We were up early and on the trail at 6.45am this morning and were looking forward to the 42 Traverse and the Waione Cokers track. A lovely mist rose from the forest as we made our way along the 42 Traverse mountain bike track through Tongariro Forest Park. It’s technically a four-wheel drive track.. although we were very glad to be on foot and not on a bike or in a vehicle!
It was pretty hard going. The track was sometimes gravel with lots of big rocks, other times mud, sand, loose stones. There was the odd tree branch to clamber over here and there and lots of very deeply rutted wheel tracks – most of which were full of water from last night’s rain.
It was very hilly again – mostly ups, (as we’re walking towards of the central North island volcanoes)… interspersed with very steep downs & ups as the trail dipped to cross numerous small streams.
It was hot and sunny, so my allergies were terrible again today. I had to take lots of tablets and keep the eye drops handy.
It’s really difficult to concentrate (and see) when your contact lenses are covered with pollen and the irritation is making more tears, causing your lenses to float around your eyes.
Eventually they dried out a bit and I could see/pick up the pace again 🙂
Just before lunch I suffered a minor disaster. I lifted my Lowe Alpine pack onto my back and heard something rip… Yikes!!
At lunchtime I inspected the damage.
The fabric holding the straps onto the back panel ripped by about half an inch on one side, and started to fray on the other.
Worse case scenario.. if it rips completely one or both straps will no longer be attached to my backpack 🙁
I took some photos of the damage, then darned the rip as best I could with dental floss (essential bit of tramper kit for just such an emergency). This worked a treat until the heavy-duty needle I’d bright with me broke in half.
With the pack darned as best I could, I carried on. The trail deviated off the 42 Traverse for 10kms onto the Waione-Cokers track, and things got even harder.
Waione Cokers Track
This track wasn’t as good as the last, and had some very very steep hills. The path was overgrown, very rutted, and extremely wet! There was a deep river crossing (to my mid-thigh) and countless huge puddles and muddy ponds to wade through.
In the last hour it started to thunder. We could see the huge black cloud in front of us & desperately hoped we’d finish the trail before it started raining!!
We got to the Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre and they kindly allowed us in to refill our water. They told us about a camp spot nearby. We raced over to it and immediately got our tents up… Then it began to hammer down with rain, and the storm began. Thank goodness we made it!
With that, I have completed the Waikato section of Te Araroa Trail.
To quote popstress Taylor Swift… my summing up of the Waikato section of Te Araroa Trail would be that it was a “nightmare dressed like a daydream”… The past couple of weeks gave us some lovely views, but was very very hard going… But it beats working right??