Te Araroa Trail from Avon Burn to Top Timaru hut
I woke a little late at 7am today. I didn’t have the greatest night sleep as the ‘wet feet syndrome’ ie. very very itchy skin on the tops of my feet, that I got in the Tararuas has come back. Luckily I still have cream to treat it with, but it doesn’t soothe the itching at night.
As the sun was high in the sky already, I took the time to dry my tent. It was about 9am before I got on trail. The trail started through the river valley where I’d camped last night. My shoes and socks I’d dried out yesterday were instantly wet again from the numerous bog crossings.
After crossing the Avon Burn river I dried out my feet, applied cream and plasters over the now blistering wet, itchy bits, and swapped my wet socks for dry ones. I hung my wet ones from my pack to dry. I also strapped my Anker solar panel to my pack, to charge my Anker power pack, which charges my phone… it worked a treat!
A long Climb
The trail was easy terrain today as it mostly followed a 4-wheel drive track, up the river valley but after the initial part it was a very long and steady up hill climb. The weather was beautifully hot and sunny and I carried extra water just in case.
I’m trending to drink more than my 2 litre bladder in a day on these hot, climbing days. There was no shade along the way, as I was above the tree line all day. The mountains all around were amazing, the peaks of note being Ben Avon, Mt Martha and Mt Melinda. I reached Martha Saddle 1680m at 1.30pm.
Martha Saddle to Top Timaru Hut
From Martha Saddle it was 7kms downhill to Top Timaru Hut. This started on a HUGE scree slope – thankfully a nice formed path, had been made through it. Then I descended into the Timaru River valley, which I will continue to follow tomorrow.
I reached Top Timaru Hut at 3pm. A nice 6 bed hut, with the usual separate loo a short walk away – but unusually the loo had no door! So if you’re on the loo and a Northbounder comes along, you can give them a friendly greeting as you do the do.
At the hut I met Roxelane and Tim (France/USA), James (UK) and Roland (Austria). Both James and Roland being Te Araroa NOBOs.. Northbounders. I had an early dinner, as I hadn’t stopped for lunch today. Then us SOBOs swapped stories with the NOBOs. It was really useful to get tips on cool little places to stay, and what to watch out for on the trail. Similarly we were able to help James and Roland with where best to cross the Ahuriri river & which cycle hire companies to use for the stretch to Tekapo etc.