Hostel bunk beds are usually metal and they squeak and creak everytime you move so I spend the night trying not to wriggle too much. My room mate has had 2 weeks alone so she will not be used to the noises of a room mate.
I woke to a beautiful sunny day and headed up through the Botanical Gardens for another short 12km day to stay with Trail Angels Lois and Rowan in Ngaio. Trail Angels do good deeds for long distant hikers such as providing a bed, or a place to pitch a tent, transport etc.
Lois is going to join me for the 5 days through the Tararua Ranges which is good as that part of the trail is up high and very exposed. I always say I need to have a witness if I fall off the mountain so that my story can be told.
I had plenty of time to kill so I stopped and enjoyed a coffee in the sun at a Cafe in the Rose Gardens watching others enjoying freedom after lockdown.
Again I managed to lose the trail as there are many paths through the gardens and I gad trouble finding the correct turns for Te Araroa. Last time I found that I was most likely to lose the trail when I was close to a town or city as there are more options that up in the mountains or in the bush.
The signage and trail notes for Te Araroa are designed mainly for people going South so I found it not so easy going North.
Spring is here
I followed the Northern Walkway finding one part where the track was closed because a bridge was washed out. I remembered that the bridges here were just over wee creeks and designed to keep the city slickers fancy shoes dry. So a climbed around the barrier and headed on finding a wee creek to step across. I felt a bit naughty doing this but carried on to climb under the next barrier and back onto the track without anyone seeing me.
I was surprised to see that everyone was wearing their masks even outside in the gardens and bush tracks. I suppose they know that our Prime Minister, Aunty Cindy lives in Wellington.
I spent a lovely time with Lois and her family in Ngaio. Lois walked the South Island part of Te Araroa last summer and has been section walking the North Island over the last few years. They have also been Trail Angels for a number of years so we had lots of stories to share with each other. Our lips didn’t stop moving all evening.
Funnily enough Lois also had to be rescued when she got lost in the Longwood Forest just as I had the year before her. However she had cellphone coverage and was able to phone for help and was found by a group of SAR (Search and Rescue) on foot. I was winched out by helicopter.