28km total 2898km
Last mountains on Te Araroa ! Mixed feelings too. On one hand no more boring walk through muds and endless forest but then on the other hand no more trail at all. After a good breakfast completed by fresh hard eggs I walk up the road then go back to the hut after two minutes because I forgot my walking poles. I see the lasts sheep herd of the trail and after almost two hours on the forest track, the Longwood forest track starts. And it is a mess. There is so much mud that it reminds me directly of the Raetea forest. People walking only the south Island might finally get a taste of the Northlands ! The weather is still rainy with not much of visibility. The track goes up and down a few hills but as soon it gets out of the forest the mud is replaced by a swampy mix of Tussocks and boggy ground full of water filled hole. A freezing wind and occasional drizzle complete the trail condition. At least it keeps you going. I have a short break at the tower station on top of the Longwood forest. It is really cold up there and so I walk even faster down the road. The track then goes up again before getting down to the muddy forest to Martin’s hut. I am cold and tired and the bad weather doesn’t help at all. I am delighted when I smell the smoke from someone trying to get a fire going at the hut. I get in the forest to find the stream to wash myself and head to the old hut to get some well deserved rest. This hut was formerly used by gold miners, it is like sleeping in a historical museum place. The hut is so old that there are holes everywhere and is a local rodents kingdom. Tomorrow is my last forest day. Finally.