Day 11 Aparima Hut to Princhester 12.5km 9 hours 220km total

We were all up at sparrow fart (I really did hear them) and I was off on a mission to Princhester Hut remembering my previous time on this part of the trail

In 2020 there had been 2 days of rain  and was still raining that day I tramped through here so the marshy parts of the day were nearly knee deep in water. I could hardly see the markers ahead through my wet glasses so it was a hard day physically but I was on a high and really enjoyed it.

A bit foggy to start the day

This time the day started with  fog but there has been a long dry spell so the marshy parts were much easier than I remembered. As the sun came out I could easily see the markers ahead and only had to double check my route a couple of times.

I was in the bush then out in the marshes all day really enjoying myself. The track through the high grass was fairly well trodden so usually easy to follow.  I am beginning to get comfortable with my journey.

Lunch #1

I tried having 2 smaller lunches so stopped at about 11am under some sheer cliffs in the sun for my first wrap. Shortly after that I came across a couple of woman who were section hiking and stood and chatted with them for quite some time.  I also met a man doing a bit of a circuit in the area. I do like to know that I am not completely alone out there.

Lunch #2
A bit wet underfoot
Dramatic clouds to cheer me along
High grasses cover the mushy wet ground

The last 3 hours involved a big climb up a hill through really rugged bush. I was holding onto tree roots and sidlings along some quite dodgy bits of track. Then going down the other side for 2.5km was hard going. Climbing down a steep broken, rocky and muddy is not really much fun and quite risky. But I made it through and was feeling good until I had to push my way through about 30 minutes of really scratchy ferns.

My poor legs were getting a battering and I wished I had gaiters with me. Why can’t all ferns be nice and soft?  This is another section that may benefit from any lotto win I might have. (Not that I take ticket)

But 9 hours later I was at Princhester Hut that was already taken over by a huge family of sandflies. I grabbed the hut bucket and ran down to the nearby creek to fill it for a wash.  I jumped up and down in the cool water to give my shoes and socks and legs a wash then headed back into the hut for a sponge bath. Having the hut to myself allows me thus luxury.

No matter how hard the day is I always feel better when I have washed my face and put on a (semi) clean set of clothes.

Fully clothed and with bug spray on I sat outside with a cup of soup and the last of my crushed chippies in a spot with reception and caught up with the world again. I downloaded a couple of podcasts to listen to on my 6km road walk in the morning.

I called my son, Dean, and caught up with his South Island holiday before climbing onto my bunk feeling very happy with my day.

Soon the door opens and Chloe from Dunedin arrives. She is going South so has nearly finished her South Island Te Araroa.  She had hitched out from Te Anau and walked the 6km to the hut with a fresh Subway for her dinner.  It smelt very good and reminded me that I hadn’t had my dinner yet.

She was a very confident young woman, well into the groove of a long hike.  We chatted about our experiences on the trail and her time working with Sledge dogs in USA. Like Te Araroa walkers sledge dogs also don’t care if you haven’t showed for over a week.

5 thoughts on “Day 11 Aparima Hut to Princhester 12.5km 9 hours 220km total

  • Kia Ora Karen. You just need to fix up the title to this one! We also struggled on that final saddle/ siddle over to Princhester hut. I

  • Kia Ora Karen. You just need to fix up the title to this one! We also struggled with that saddle/ siddle over to Princhester hut. Your SOBO blog at the time made me very jealous! Good to hear that you are getting into the swing of TA again. You will enjoy the next section I’m sure. We are off again today so I’ll catch up again from Methven. Sylvia

  • I’m getting into this very interesting love my read with my coffee. Keep going Karen your doing great

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