Soaked in the misty mountains

After a Christmas with our hiking friends near Wellington and our trip on the Southern Island with Marie-Laure's father, we could feel that we were kind of heavier than before our break. Too much good food couldn't have any other effect... But it was such a nice time with friend and family, even if we were missing our other parents, our brothers, sister-in-laws and all the friends back home.
Christmas at Kelvin's place
Thursday 4th January 2018

We go with Kelvin, his wife Magnolia and their son to Palmerston North, where we'll hit the path again. Those that follow our adventures with particular attention might have noticed that it's not where we stopped before Christmas. Well, the reason is that between Whanganui and Palmerston North, Te Araroa follows the road during roughly 100 kilometres, except for a few of them on the beach. As you know, we're not particularly keen on walking on the road...

So here we are, leaving Palmerston North centre at 2:30 PM after eating some sushis. The path drives us on the heights, near the University. It follows a river and then we hike in the bush. And suddenly, we see Emma, a kiwi that we already met on the Timber Trail, coming from the opposite direction. She decided to stay 2 nights at a friend's place in Palmerston and to hike northbound during one day. As we exchange news, she talks to us about a campsite that is a little bit further that what we were planning to hike but that has toilets.

The rain starts pouring as we hike our last kilometres before reaching the campground. We are completely wet and the river is not clean enough to allow us taking water from it, but 2 kiwis staying on the same campground offer us clean water that we accept with gratitude. We've hiked only 21 km today, on easy grounds, but we're so tired !

Friday 5th January 2018

We wake up with some sun, which is absolutely awesome because it gives us the chance to dry a little. Today's hike starts nicely, with a beautiful path along the river and some stunning views on the hills. But soon, it starts raining like hell. And it doesn't stop till the night.
On the way, we meet Emma, a young American, that pitched her tent under a half-fallen shed. No way for us, that's too dangerous, even if we are craving to find a dry place for the night. We're completely soaked, no kidding.

We're supposed to reach a road soon, at least that's what our map says. But it's only a gravel road and there are no houses where we could ask for a shelter. We hike about 4 kilometres more and, suddenly, 2 lights appear in front of us. A caaaar yeah ! We ask the driver to stop. It's Paul. He accepts to take us with him and we board his car. We're so full of water that we soak his car as well : "never mind, it's just water, it will dry !". Thanks so much Paul ! In Shannon, the closest city, there are no hotels, no backpackers, nothing. So we stay with him because he continues to Palmerston North, where it will be easy to find a place to stay.
We find a super cheap price on Internet and book a room with a bath. What a treat after such a day !

Saturday 6th January 2018
We take advantage of being in town to resupply and decide to reach Levin, from where we'll be able to start climbing the Tararua Range. I don't have much to tell about today, because we're mostly busy with logistical stuff.
The nice woman from Makahika Outdoor Centre catches us in town and we go back with her to her place, at the feet of the Ranges. She and her husband are really nice people, they do a lot for the TA hikers. I feel they should ask something in return. We give a koha, but they don't even ask for it. It's always better when it's not one direction only, but I don't see what they get from welcoming everyday so many hikers for free...



  1. Hello les girls! courage sous cette pluie qui ne veut pas s'arrêter (ici ce n'est pas bien mieux)! J'ai pu enfin trouver le temps de lire tous vos posts d'affilée car je suis en arrêt maladie (grippe), et là, assise ou couchée à longueur de journée, vos aventures font rêver (enfin, pas la gadoue...) plein de bises et d'ondes positives pour la suite de votre trail !

    1. Coucou miss contentes d avoir de tes nouvelles. Dommage pour la grippe mais ça tombe bien pour la lecture de nos articles 😎😉😉ici la pluie se est arrêtée et on vient de finir le Queen Charlotte track superbe. L article paraîtra très vite. Big hugs de nous deux


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