There was fog around the hills as I left at about 8.30am. After 1.5 hours I stopped for first lunch at Boundary Hut and met a couple of school teachers from Auckland. As I ate my yummy crackers with hummus and cucumber they talked about the need to get right away from Auckland and Covid-19 stuff. They have a renovated horse float that they can sleep in and can carry their trail bikes.
I adjusted the laces on my right shoe and removed my ankle support to see if that would reduce the pain i had been getting over the top of my right foot. It did the trick.
I continued on the Mavora Walkway which eventually joins up with the well known Greenstone-Caples walk.
Aiko and I played a bit of leap frog earlier in the day. I was quite pleased to hear that she had taken a wring turn at ine stage so I was not the only one to do so. She took off deciding to go a bit further than me today.
I took my time, enjoying being the only person out there accompanied occasionally by some cattle who weren’t interested in me at all.
It was a very hot day again with a bit of a tail wind and no shade at all. Everytime I crossed a creek I washed my face and soaked my feet in the cooling water.
After nearly 7 hours I crossed a swing bridge and was at Taipo Hut. It is a very nice 4 bunk hut with no sandflies and a beautiful swimming hole nearby.
I did have a swim and washed my clothes, had some more crackers then had a wee snooze.
At about 5.30 a SOBO man arrived and he was quickly snoozing too. When he woke up he had a shave which us something I had never before seen on Te Araroa or any other tramp for that matter.
We got chatting and I soon realized that I had found the rich, single, fit man that I have been looking for. It was just a shame that he was going the other way!!
At first I thought he was 50 then as he told me about all the amazing adventurous travels he had done I decided more like 60 then by the end I decided he was probably 70. He told me he had worked hard in his own engineering business in Auckland and sold up and retired at 55 with more money than he could ever spend. Not having had a family he has been free to do whatever he wants to and living in a retirement village means he can come and go as he pleases.
So he has spent his years doing lots of stuff all around the world. He has cycled through many countries including a full circumnavigation of USA. He had also been a quite a few big climbing expeditions in the Himalayas and other places. He was on his 3rd Te Araroa and had all Zpacks gear like me. This man is one of the few people I have met with a lighter load than me.
Next morning he headed off southbound and I went North. I briefly considered turning around and following him but I was quite sure I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with him!!