The first crossing of the Taramakau was impassable. We had to our way down gravel bars for a couple of hundred meters until we were able to cross.
After that it was pretty much the same the whole way down. There isn’t actually a path after the floods. It is possible there wasn’t really one before them. Either way it consisted of lots of walking over riverbed, in the river, across side rivers, and bush bashing round until a way was found.
It took considerably longer to reach the Otira River than we had expected and we had come up with a plan to go to the Otira Hotel for a ‘weather update’. It should be pointed out that this was Silvan idea and it was a good one.
For starters, the Otira Hotel has become a wonderland of antique items and knick knacks and feels a quite a lot like stepping back in time. In fact, occasionally you wonder whether you have entered some alternate dimension.
The second reason it was a great idea was that the weather went downhill again with 110mm of rain forecast overnight destroying any chance of us being able to do the next section up the Deception River the next day.
- Turns out the Taramakau River isn’t actually a designated track. It is always like that.
- This is the closest Te Araroa comes to the West coast.
- If the Otira River is down, cross it. The walk along the side was painful and treacherous.
- Otira Pub is worth visiting.