Rain... and more !

Sunday 7th January 2018
Today will be steep : 1200 meters to climb. Our backpacks are heavy with 6 days of food. That's the time we might need to cross the Tararua Range. The weather forecast for today and tomorrow are fine. But after, rain is forecast.
After a short roadwalk, we start climbing in a thick forest with many trees fallen on the path. There are supplejacks and roots everywhere... but we're kind of use to that now.
When trees fall on the path... hikers sweat !
We reach a beautiful hut around 5 PM, where Emma stays, as well as Jason, a French guy that hikes so fast. We also expect the 2 French hikers that we met on our way up to reach the hut soon. But they don't.
They'll eventually reach the hut... at midnight. I wake up first because I hear some noise outside. But that's the possums that organized a party in the shelter next to the hut. Then we see lights, that's the French couple. Poor them... They are not Te Araroa hikers and where not ready for such a path...

Monday 8th January 2018
Another day of good weather. Another day of beautiful sights. Another day of shitty trail. We wake up at 5:30 because we want to go as far as possible before tomorrow bad weather.
 Thanks to the early wake-up, we enjoy a magnificent sunrise on the mountains.
 

The sun is there but still, before an hour has passed, our shoes and pants are wet. The overgrown herbs on the path do not allow us to see where we put our feet and they usually end up in the deep mud.
 Climbing the 1000 meters of today is kind of a challenge, because the path is so steep and so muddy that every step is a bet : falling or not falling, that's the question.

We're rewarded of our efforts by beautiful views. We can even see the seashore. After a while, we realize that we won't be able to go as far as we wanted. We'll have to stay at the hut before Mt Crawford, the highest point of our hike in the Tararuas.

When we reach the hut, there's already a French guy. Another arrives just after us. Poor Emma, it seems that it will be another evening of French practice for her !


Tuesday 9th January 2018

Who pitched his tent in front of the hut when he arrived at 9 yesterday evening ? Mac Cliver ! What a nice surprise ! He was part of the 18 people with who we spent the first nights after Cape Reinga.
It's a very misty day and when we reach the edge above the hut, we notice that the wind is quite strong as well. We first need to climb the Mount Crawford (1462m), before following the ridge, and then the path goes down into the forest. It's a hard hike, very steep again, with some places where it feels much more like climbing than hiking and the strong gusts of wind don't make it any easier.
Ping pong in the hut
We reach Waitewaewae hut for lunch time, with Emma that we joined in the forest. There are 3 kiwis and 2 Autralians in it, that decided to take a day off due to the rain. We have our lunch there and as they are very nice and that the rain doubles, it's then an easy decision to stay here for the night.
From here, we should be able to see the Southern island and Tongariro. But there's nothing to see today...


Bridge crossing can be impressive in this country
Wednesday 10th January 2018
You won't see much pictures of our today's hike... It was raining when we woke up, it was raining when we went to sleep. This morning the river in front of the hut was 4 times bigger than yesterday and its colour had completely changed to brown while it was transparent yesterday. It was really impressive.
We hike without taking any break, in our clothes still wet of yesterday, because we want to reach the hut as soon as possible. Once we're there, we remove our clothes a fast as possible. Emma, that reaches the hut a little after us, does the same. That's so good to wear dry clothes again. The fire of wet wood doesn't really warm us up but it's at least nice for the ambiance.

Thursday 11th January 2018
Walking in wet clothes again... Hopefully, the path is easier than the previous days and it's more a drizzle than a rain.
We reach a parking by lunch time and eat a little, before a woman and her 2 kids proposes us a lift to the next city. Yes, with pleasure.
We decide for a motel, where we'll be able to make a laundry, take a hot shower and dry ourselves completely. A shower, a laundry and a bed, it feels like a huge luxury after last days. We're also happy to receive some news from our families and friends through Internet.
From now, we'll hike along the coast till Wellington and the paths should be easier than in the mountains, where it took us 5 days to hike 60 km. And after Wellington, the South Island and its mountains is waiting for us !

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