Anne Hut to Boyle Village – 31kms
Total – 360kms
I set off at my usual start time of 7am after saying goodbye to Curtis and Janet. They are not going all the way out today and are stopping at Boyle Flat hut where Curtis’ wife Antonia is coming in to meet them. I had plenty of energy and was feeling motivated to finish this section so got today done in really good time. The trail notes and DOC times indicated 10 hours but I finished in seven and a half without any breaks. I wanted to call Katie and the kids as soon as I got out but there was still no phone reception at Boyle Village. It has been harder this time not being able to see them along the way and not having any cell phone reception to call while I’m walking.
It rained for most of the morning which wasn’t expected but kept me cool and also meant I only had to stop once to fill my water bottle because I wasn’t as thirsty. The next few days of weather look pretty bad. Luckily one of them will be my rest day in Hamner and I will have to make a call tomorrow if I wait out the rain depending how bad it gets. The weather report looks really ugly but clearing up after Tuesday. I don’t mind walking in the rain at all but the next section has many river crossings including some of the biggest I will encounter.
On the way today I passed a family from Auckland walking the St James track. There was a boy around 10 years old and the girl maybe 12 with their parents. The boy asked me if I am doing the Te Araroa Trail. He knows all about it and said he wants to do it in eight years from now. A few clicks down I met another TA hiker called Zack doing it north bound. I don’t think I have come across anyone doing it from bottom to top but I know there are plenty that do. The next person I saw was Antonia who I recognised from Curtis’ photos and videos. She was surprised when I said “Hi, you must be Antonia”. She had a special order of sausages, coleslaw and pavlova in her pack. Then I caught up to an older couple who had four pet goats with them. Two of the goats were carrying packs on their back. I have not seen this before but have heard of people who do this. They are called Pack Goats and are ideal as back country hiking companions. They are sure-footed and can carry a fair amount of weight for you. Not a bad idea but a bit slow for me. I got a photo of them a few hours later as they came out and I was sitting waiting for dad and Janeen to arrive and pick me up. I had already been into the Boyle Outdoor Education Centre and had a shower and can of coke. They accommodate TA hikers due to it being a remote area and the closest town is Hanmer Springs about 40kms away. The next section is seven days so you do need to come in to Hanmer to resupply before continuing or else you can pre post a ‘drop box’ there full of supplies and they will hold it for you.
I am now in Hanmer and we are staying in a motel opposite the springs so will get a few soaks in before I get going again.