29 km of road walking in 7 hours – good going. Reached 1,063 km. Another hot day with little shade but better than the alternative kind of weather that NZ can dish up.
We were picked up early to go out to the Taumaranui Canoe Hire premises for our river briefing. They had picked up our bags of shopping the previous night and now we had to pack our 5 days of food and lots of goodies into barrels. My new shoes were there waiting for me.
It would be 8 days before we met them with our canoes at Whakahoro. I had grouped up with Dad Dave and Baxter and NZ Kate to do 5 days on the river. The place was alive with people all talking at once, packing barrels, collecting parcels etc. I found it all a bit stressful after the long quiet times over the last couple of months.
Then it was into town for more proper food and time to say my sad good byes to Frances. We left Taumaranui at 11 am. We is Dad Dave and Son Baxter.
This was my latest start to a day and meant we didn’t arrive until 6pm at the free camp area 3km outside of Owhango.
My new shoes were needed to replace the old ones which had holes on the top that were letting in mud and stones. The soles were still good. However, even though I ordered the same model and size they were slightly smaller. But they had to do.
Most of the day was spent with chatterbox, Baxter, so the day went reasonably quickly. He has been walking TA with his Dad Dave and has really embraced the spirit of the trail. He carries his share of the gear, does his share of the camping chores and is really involved in the planning. He is a real credit to his family.
One fast American guy passed us today, slowing down briefly to tell us about his walk so far. He had done the same total distance as us in about half the time. Some of these young guys are machines.
We used the mountains as our measure of achievement for the next few days as we we heading towards the Tongariro Crossing.
Every now and then we caught a glimpse of the 3 mountains ahead of us. (Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe) Mt Ngauruhoe was Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings so most overseas people call it that which annoys me a bit.
An emu gave us a welcome diversion. The way it peed was rather interesting too
We arrived in Owhango, which is just a wee settlement with few houses, a pub that looked closed, a cafe that was closed and a full lodge. A local came out and pointed us towards the local Domain which was 3 km out of town. It is hard to move on when our minds had told us that we had arrived and finished for the day. But this is Te Araroa so off we trudged.
There was 9 campervans parked up there, mostly young travellers, sitting around cooking and playing card games.
I fell into the routine perfected by 49 days on the trail.
- Drop pack
- Take off shoes and put on sandals
- Find toilet
- Pitch tent
- Pump up mattress
- Lay out sleeping quilt
- Change into camp clothes
- Make a Cup of Soup and eat with half a bag of chippies
- Boil water for dehydrated dinner
- Eat dinner
- Check tomorrow’s schedule
- Clean teeth and pee again
- Crawl into bed
- Write up day’s blog
1,063 km completed in 49 days