Te Araroa Trail Nichols hut to Waitewaiwai hut
My night in the tent outside Nichols hut in the beautiful Tararua rangess started off freezing, then I had to unpeel all the layers during the night. A perfectly still night gave way to another beautiful morning.
I got up at 5am. I opted for a nature pee this morning, as the actual toilet was completely covered in a blanket of huge black blowflies.
I left at 6am to climb the ridge to Mt Crawford 1462m high. There were stunning views as the sun rose in the East, and the fog on the mountains lifted.
Susie and Bruno, and Susie and Jo left shortly after me. We met at the summit at 8am. We took some awesome photos, and enjoyed a lengthy discussion about how bloody lucky we were to be here, and how fortunate we were to share it with beautiful like-minded crazies. All of us on this particular occasion, were more mature Te Araroa trail hikers, at 35+ years of age.
Mount Crawford to Waitewaewae hut
We walked the ridgeline in amazing sunshine and eventually made a very lengthy and INCREDIBLY STEEP, nasty descent through a rooty, leafy forest to Waitewaewae hut a.k.a..”the Hilton”.
This was hands down the best hut of the trail so far – a beautiful 16 bunk hut with veranda, kitchen area, seating area, dining table and even a swimming hole in the river below!
The others from Nichols hut joined us for lunch. Everyone except me was heading on to the next hut. I opted for a relaxing afternoon, with a nice swim in the river.
I rinsed my smelly gear, doused myself liberally with very strong deet insect repellent and had a thoroughly lazy afternoon, battling the sandflies.
Just as I was thinking I’d have the whole hut to myself tonight, I was joined by “Rain” the young American guy who I first met at the Whakahoro campsite after the Whanganui river episode. I had the bottom row of bunks, and Rain took the top row.
I enjoyed 2 dinners tonight as I’ve got too many – there’s a hardship I can handle! Can’t wait for real food again though…