Takahue Saddle – Raetea Forest
2 Oct, 139 – 148km, 9km, 14hrs
I woke just before sunrise ate breakfast and packed up leaving camp at 7:20. Was pleased I had a head start as recommended Raetea Forest would take more than 10 hours to get to Makene Rd camp.
I headed the same way the cattle scattered yesterday and followed their hoof marks across the saddle. Took the left turn at the top lookout. Mud tracks, water bogged, slippery, wide, deep and slushy. Steep, some roots to hold onto to drag myself up and over bit climbing up and down.
I found many times trees blocking the path, a challenge to get around to find the track again, few markers at the start. Although the track was obvious I did loose the track at one point late afternoon. Following mud tracks was slow going and tough. I relied on my poles for balance and leverage to get over around and through areas. This was tough, but beautiful bush. Finding several empty kauri snail shells on the side of the track was a treat.
My advice to walk this track is be prepared for wet feet, muddy boots and travel light, very light. I wouldn’t attempt it in wet weather or previous rain. The Raetea Forest Track has blue markers for each km of the 18. It says 9.5hrs to Makene Rd Camp it took me more than a days walking.
I turned my head light on and walked until 9:20 having walked 14 hrs stopping at 17km marker in a fern grove. It became too slippery and hard to navigate, the last fallen tree was the limit. I climbed through it, took ages.
Here was my camp, was asleep in 10 minutes. Safe and sound. Had lost GPS, so had no idea where I was other than Raetea Forest post 17.