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Day 36-40: Comyns Hut to Tekapo. 2292km-2419km - 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

Day 36/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

ℹ️Stats: Monday 5th February

Weather: Sunny ☀️ & hot

From: Comyns Hut

Start time: 8am

To: Manuka Hut

End time: 4pm

Accommodation: top bunk - 6 bed hut

Terrain: river/gorge walking 2hrs, grassy land, across scree slopes x3, 4WD track

🥾Km: 13.2

🦶Steps: 16,879

Total Km: 2313/3028 = 76% ✅

💰Costs: $0

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 5/10

Fatigue: 4/10

Ease of terrain: 5/10

⭐️Highlights: the views… 😍😍😍😍

🏔️Challenges: a small patch of skin on my right ankle is looking infected and a bit oozy 🤢. I keep putting antiseptic on it and clean it at the end of every day. But it’s been like this for a while. (As my feet are constantly wet!)

💭Thoughts: long day - felt so long and never ending. It wasn’t particularly hard terrain - pretty normal for the TA. It was just hard going.

Tomorrow is a big day - approx 30k to get to the trail head and I need to be there at 4pm - so it’s going to be an early start!!!


Day 37/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

ℹ️Stats: Tuesday 6th February

Weather: Sunny & windy. 🌬️

From: Manuka Hut

Start time: 6.50am

To: Potts River Bridge carpark, Hakatere Potts Road

End time: 2.30pm at the trail head. Collected at 5pm ish, arrived at the next trail head at 8pm ish. In the tent by 9pm

Accommodation: camped 🏕️

Terrain: grassy tracks, 4WD track, gravel road.

🥾Km: 20.4

🦶Steps: 26,100

🛻Hitch 4K gravel road - Sam & James 🙏

🚐Shuttle to Glenrock Stream, Double Hill Run Road (136km)

Total Km: 2345/3028 = 77% ✅

💰Costs: $100 shuttle

Food resupply $75 (misc - painkiller & chapstick $14.65) (2x gf wraps, jelly snakes 🐍 x2, cheese, pesto, chocolate, 1x banana, crisps, protein bars, chocolate chip cookies gf)

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 8/10

Fatigue: 3/10

Ease of terrain: 4/10 - easy track walking, good markers.

⭐️Highlights: the views of the mountains in the distance was spectacular 😍 finding Gf wraps at the supermarket.

🏔️Challenges: not knowing if I was going to be able to get on the shuttle. I sent Alec a message via my Zoleo and found out that 3 people cancelled - so I had a spot!! 🥳

That evening my @msr_gear tent pole broke in the wind and ripped my tent ⛺️ so annoying.

Worst tent. Not impressed. At all. I miss my old tent. 😢

Managed to create a temporary fix with duct tape and a splint - it will have to do for tonight. Tomorrow- I’ll need to figure out a way to get it fixed or replace the pole 😒

💭Thoughts: the next section is Two Thumb Track. Which should take 2.5 days. There is one challenging river crossing and also the highest point in the TA. Plus it looks like it may rain tomorrow 🌧️


Day 38/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

Two Thumb Track

ℹ️Stats: Wednesday 7th February

Weather: hot and sunny ☀️

From: Glenrock Stream, Double Hill Run Road

Start time: 7.30 am

To: Stone Hut

End time: 3.10 pm

Accommodation: bottom bunk - mattress

Terrain:3 hr gorge walking, steep climbs, scree descents, grassy tracks, stream and river crossing.

🥾Km: 14.8

🦶Steps: 18,894

Total Km: 2364.5/3028 = 78% ✅

💰Costs: $0

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 6/10

Fatigue: 8/10 - I did not sleep well last night and I can really feel it today

Ease of terrain: 6/10 - not as horrendous as the TA notes make it out to be.

⭐️Highlights: the weather, the views 😍 Stone hut was also really nice. 👍 they had the blue thick mattresses. 💤

🏔️Challenges: everything, the terrain, the broken tent pole, the sun, the descents, finding the track, crossing the streams, eating food. It’s all a challenge today. Plus I think I’ve eaten too much chocolate and processed food / or had bad water. As I’ve got the shits 💩💩💩

💭Thoughts: the climb after the first hut was brutal. It was like walking through treacle. Feeling weak and tired. Not sure how I’m going to finish the hike by the 3rd March. As I really need to start doing bigger distances. Which in this terrain is hard going (or I find it hard going!)


Day 39/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

ℹ️Stats: Thursday 8th February

Weather: hot & sunny ☀️

From: Stone Hut

Start time: 7.30am

To: Camp Stream Hut

End time: 3.40pm

Accommodation: bottom bunk - 6 bed hut. Very cosy!

Terrain: tussock covered ground.

🥾Km: 11.3

🦶Steps: 14,486

Total Km: 2385/3028 = 79% ✅

💰Costs: $0

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 7/10

Fatigue: 6/10- looking forward to an afternoon nap!

Ease of terrain: 6/10 - not horrendous and you could move pretty quickly on the downhill through the tussocks.

⭐️Highlights: meeting Wizard @captainaomi 🪄& Purav at Royal Hut.

🏔️Stag Saddle (1925m), the highest point on Te Araroa. (I found this quite an easy climb) 👍

🏔️Challenges: emails have been sent (via zoleo) to @msr_gear re a new pole, I’ve messaged about the bike hire and emailed 2 places re accommodation- which is apparently fully booked this weekend!

Plus my stomach is still not good 🥺

💭Thoughts: I’ve got no accommodation booked for tomorrow. I haven’t heard back from the bike people and the MSR tent support team are saying the tent was discounted and it may be hard to get a replacement pole!!! I told them it was a brand new tent I bought in Sept 2023 and has been used less than 40x. Nothing is going right….

Hopefully the trail will provide and it will all be sorted tomorrow when I get into town! I’m very tired and need to have a sleep. 💤


Day 40/64 🥾Te Araroa Trail - The South Island 🇳🇿

📍Supported by ZOLEO @zoleolifeeurope #ChallengeWithZoleo

ℹ️Stats: Friday 9th February

Weather: hot & sunny ☀️

From: Camp Stream Hut

Start time: 6.40am

To: Tekapo

End time: 12.05pm

Accommodation: dorm room - bottom bunk

Terrain: very easy walking track, one steep section. Otherwise pretty much downhill and flat!

🥾Km: 17.2

🦶Steps: 22,086

🛻 Hitch - 12k to town Tekapo

Total Km: 2419/3028 = 80% ✅

609km to go 23 days - 26.5k per day…

💰Costs: 🛏️ Accommodation $62

breakfast $21

🚲Bike hire $93

total 🟰 $176

Subjective feeling out of 10 on:

Enjoyment: 7/10

Fatigue: 4/10

Ease of terrain: 3/10

⭐️Highlights: getting my @msr_gear tent pole sorted. They are going to send a replacement to Wanaka and there is a guy in the shop who is going to mend it for me. 🥳🥳🥳

🚲Bike hire for tomorrow is also all sorted ✅

🏔️Challenges: massive stomach ache - don’t feel great at all. 🥺🥺🥺

🧠🤯Sorting out all the logistics for the next few days is painful. So many moving parts.

💭Thoughts: I can’t find any accommodation in Twizel. I’ve reached out to some NZ friends to see if anyone knows anyone. So far no luck.

If I can’t find anywhere I’m going to have to splint the tent pole with a can and duct tape and camp. Otherwise I’m out of options.

I also don’t know what to do after Twizel…

On the next section - there is no huts for 50km - only camping.

So do I skip ahead and miss that section and go to Wanaka and wait for the tent pole? Which I don’t want to do! But I have no other option if I can’t get the splint for the tent to work!! Ahhhhhh 😧😧😧



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