About 200 Te Araroa walkers stopped at trail angel Sam Pepper’s famous rest stop this season. The Peppers set up a small booth stocked with refreshments and lollies to help thru-hikers. They regularly hosted hikers for the night, a smattering of tents in their backyard and regular barbecue dinners on the go.
The Peppers have inspired others to be trail angels too; a couple in Wellington sent them a 4kg package of Minties after they read the story in the March issue of Wilderness.
The flow of walkers slowed down in February; they were getting just two or three per week. For the whole of March, they’ve only had eight. However, they’ve met more people going from south to north this season.