hike blog

TA Day 86, Waiau Hut to Boyle Flat Hut, 43 km

A calm day follows our wild climb over Waiau Pass, but it does feel good to keep moving.
A calm day follows our wild climb over Waiau Pass, but it does feel good to keep moving.

Kuba’s alarm wakes us in the morning. Usually just the sunrise gets me up, but last night there was a full moon that shined brightly once it cleared the mountains. I even slipped out of my bunk to see its light illuminate this stunning valley of straw-colored grass and towering peaks.

I pack and go as usual with a quick goodbye. I hope to make a big day so I can get caught up in the little village before hitting the trail again for the next section.

Spirula or Ram's horn shell on Ninety Mile Beach.
hike blog

TA Day 3, Maunganui Bluff to Utea Park – 30 km

Early morning sunlight on clouds above Ninety Mile Beach.
Early morning sunlight on clouds above Ninety Mile Beach.

The alicoop crashed in the middle of the night.

First came torrential rain, then the wind.

Then rain and wind.

But I must say, the Te Araroa goddess was smiling – ok, she snickered when my side peg ripped out and my hiking pole fell on my face – but after, in her benevolence, she stopped the rain, cleared the sky so I could see the shining array of southern stars, and gave me just enough time to reorient the alicoop aiming into the wind.

The beach is exposed, relentless and monotonous, but I love it.
The beach is exposed, relentless and monotonous, but I love it.
Wild horses keeping watch at Maunganui Bluff.
Wild horses keeping watch at Maunganui Bluff.

I’m awakened by the snort and whinny of a horse. A small family lives here including a few sweet foals. I tried last night to sweet talk them into allowing a photo, but they were shy and their patriarch gave me a threatening look. I wonder if they know I’m in this tent?