14 Mar. I was up at 06:00 for a 07:30 start as we faced a long day. The imperative was to overnight at the Telford Campsite (just has a long drop toilet), as the following day was 8-9 hours over Mt Linton Station which is private farmland and access was only allowed during daylight hours. Telford campsite was on the trail just before the start of the private farmland.
The morning section, after some open tussock, was all in beech forest to Wairaki Hut. A reasonable undulating track with lots of muddy patches. We covered that 14 km section in 4:30 hours and felt we had earned our hour lunch break. Roy and Sirkka arrived just before we left.
The afternoon section of 8km to Telford campsite had a duration of 8 hours on the DOC sign at the hut. That time indicates a hard track. From the hut, the track climbs from 450m to 1000m over 5 km through beech forest. Richard and I completed that in 1:45 hours. Takings short break at the top, Roy and Sirkka powered the their way through. Once on top the beech forest gave way to an open ridge line and we could see right through to the south coast; it would be taking us another 4 days walking to get there.
The ridge line had good mobile signal so I took about half an hour to get yesterday’s blog post uploaded. In that time, Daisy and Svenja arrived. Once we had taken in the views, we continued along the ridge for a km before dropping down to Telford Campsite in the valley. That 8 hour DOC time we completed in 4 hours. As well as everyone we had seen on the track, Frank and Maria were also camping there.
Sandflies were prolific so getting full skin cover was the first task. A quick wash in the river was also needed after a really sweaty day. Dinner was dehy beef hot pot.
In all it was 22km in 10 hours with 950m of climb, but we are set up for tomorrow. We are going to get another early start as rain is forecast to start about 15:00 and go on through the night and into Monday morning.