Decided we would only go to Comyns Hut today (17km from trailhead) so, after getting dropped off at the trailhead, we set off about 1000 and arrived after about 5 hours walking time, plus a few stops - a total of just over 17.5km! The GPS data for the day is here (the timing is a bit off as I think I again forgot to turn it off!):
Went for a bit of a walk round the village before Jo from the Lodge set off with us in tow at around 0820 for the almost 90min trip around to the Glenrock trailhead on the other side of the Rakaia River. We had great stay at the Lodge with Kevin and Jo as hosts.
As noted above, we set off about 1000 for what was a slow climb up through a variety of terrain. Initially we were up through some farmland where we came across some very inquisitive dairy heifers (see photos). Quite randomly, as we climbed, we passed through a stand of kowhai trees (referred to in the notes) - it's unclear to us why they are here, but a bit of a change from the usual suspects :-).
One of the first things we struck once inside the conservation area was a zigzag track (switchback to those in the US) up a steep face to Turtons Saddle (1120m), which represented a 600m climb from the trailhead. Pretty much the first time we have not gone straight up a hill!! What is the TA coming to?! From there we meandered back down towards the cute little A-Frame Hut where we stopped for some lunch - there were even a couple of camp chairs in there too sit on! We had been following Phil (Aussie) and Viggo (Swedish) - both living in Copenhagen - in the hut books for the last few days, and saw they had been through here earlier today.
From here we more or less followed Turtons Stream for a few kms (crossing several times) before a short stretch to Comyns Hut. When we got to the hut we had indeed caught up with Viggo and Phil as they had been in Methven for a day restocking while we had a supply drop at Lake Coleridge. Good guys, and we had a great evening getting acquainted :-) - part of the fun of the trail.
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!