We had decided to do this in one damn long day instead of the usual 2 days. That would give us a much needed rest day as we had been going 9 days straight with some long hard ones in the mix.
The 42nd Traverse is mostly used for 4wd vehicles, trail bikes and mountain bikes but us Te Araroa walkers walk the old logging tracks through remote native bush.
We were each allocated 5 whinges for the day. Any more above that meant we had to forfeit one of our treats. Dave did well and only used a couple at the end of the day but I used mine quickly as my shoes pinched my feet. My bag of chippies were forfeited early on.
I had spoken to my friend Bernadine about the possibility of riding this one but thankfully she advised against it. We kept making comments about how glad we were that we were not to be riding this track.
It was steep and the day was very hot. We had a lunch break in the shade and later stopped for a rest where a couple of other hikers had put up their tent beside the track. I was tempted to join them but after cooling off in the stream, with some unexpected help from my friends, we were ready to go again.
A rest cures grizzles, grumbles, cuts and scratches and blisters on your tootsies.
Eventually we turned off onto the Waione Cokers Track and it became narrower, trickier and muddier. This was really hard going in some places and I had no qualms about complaining because I had already forfeited my treats.
We walked up a creek for a while before crossing a small river. So now my new shoes were well and truely christened.
The mountains got closer which kept us going for the 12 hours it took us to get o the end of the Coker track and out to the road by the Hilliary Outdoor pursuits Centre.
And we still had 5 km of road walking to go. I rang the Tongariro Camp ground to say that we were going to arrive late and could they please leave a key out for us. The nice man asked how I was feeling. “F***N knackered” I said honestly.
I had carried a packet of chippies on the back of my pack all day and Baxter had been chasing them for the last couple of hours knowing he could eat them when we hit the road. So they were scoffed with glee.
It was now dark so we put on our head torches, another layer of clothing and high viz gear and dug into our reserves to get going.
We hadn’t gone too far when the camp owner pulled up in his car and gave us a lift to camp. What an Angel! He declined my kiss of gratitude, probably smelt me.
So we quickly showered, prepared and ate our dinner then fell into bed in our cabin very pleased with our achievement for the day.
1,098 km completed in 50 days