Trail notes: “Whatever you do, don’t ever even think of following the poled route. It was made by gremlins and leads to an evil place where your soul will be taken and burned.” Hmmm we need to go down that valley though. Ok. “So these poles Cookie? Should we follow them then… Or no?” This was a tricky one. Our two maps, trail notes, and what we could see with our eyes didn’t match up in the slightest. It was to be a ‘Choose your own adventure’ type section this one. And I hoped it ended with Wanaka, and not a posthumous documentary about two hikers being divs in the mountains.
This section has been poled since the trail notes were written, and for the first time we’ve seen, been colour coded! The yellow poles go off to Dumb-bell Lake and the orange poles mark the Te Araroa and head over to East Ahuriri River. Don’t expect any cut track though, poles are your lot and they’re a bit few and far between too.. Also don’t expect to make fast progress on this tussocky Spaniard country, we only managed to cover about 3 miles by lunch time!