Te Araroa Trail Havelock to Pelorous Bridge
I woke at 5.30am to call my family while I ate breakfast – to wish them a happy new year. Brenna and I hit the road at around 7.30am. Today’s trail was mostly road walking from Havelock to Pelorous Bridge and began alongside the SH6 in the direction of Nelson. We peeled off to a side road after about an hour, and from there walked a nice backcountry road through lovely hilly farm land. The day was overcast making it great for walking.
We had a quick break at 10am before joining the Dalton’s track, which was a very pleasant trail next to the Pelorous river, through farmland. It wasn’t the kind of ankle-breaker, cow-hoof rutted trail we endured plenty of times during the Waikato section. This was more flat grassy fields interspersed with fields of turnips.
A section of stiles!
There were about 15 stiles to negotiate, many of which were lopsided and loose, no doubt from from so many TA’ers heaving themselves up and over. It’s pretty difficult to get over a two-step-up stile with a 13kg backpack on! Especially when the whole thing shifts towards you when you step on it and grab the handle to pull yourself up, then moves towards you again when you pull on the handle to support you on the downside. But this was the biggest amount of effort we had to put in all day, so we coped 🙂
We reached Pelorous Bridge DOC campground around 1pm. This really is lovely spot.. and there were lots of families swimming and picnicking.
We immediately went to the cafe. I had a delicious mince & cheese pie, a truly magnificent piece of lemon & passion fruit cheesecake, and a hot chocolate. Afterwards Brenna scored us a night in a store-room of the camp, so we didn’t have to camp in our tents in the light drizzle.
In the afternoon I took possession of my resupply items, and organised the 10 days worth of food to take over the Pelorous track and Richmond alpine crossing. Because I’d resupplied a bit in Havelock, I had lots of food left over, which I left for John the DOC guy to give to other trampers if he so wished.
We also left him in possession of a pot handle left at our previous campground by a young German couple we know, in the hope they hadn’t been through yet.
Happy New Year!
We toasted the new year in very early with a teeny tiny 200ml bottle of lindaur – a cheap Kiwi imitation champagne, which I’d carried from Havelock. Happy 2018 everyone!!!