Hamilton to DOC’s Nakuru Walk Campsite
KM covered today: 12 by bus, 23 walked
Total KM covered :
As discussed in previous post David and I have realised that we are not purest" Through Hikers". We feel no obligation to walk every single mile on the trail. This is a deviation from our previous thinking. The Te Araroa covered a lot of miles and many of those are road walking which can be dangerous with nothing to see, so today we jumped on a bus and bussed it 12km to save us road walking Hamilton suburbia. The bus left us just on the fringe of Whatawhata and the start of the Kapamahunga Trail. It was a very hot day and we chewed through our water so had to knock on the doors of a property and ask for water. The walk was really pleasant walk today along the river and over pastoral ground into the Campsite. The Campsite, situated alongside a gorgeous little stream and as soon as we got into camp we dumped our packs and headed for a swim. It was freezing but after the steamy walk it was really delightful and refreshed us nicely.
HIGHLIGHT: Bathing in the stream
LOWLIGHT: I know this is selfish but .... sharing the Campsite with a few families.
Grateful for the Host at Karamu Valley Lodge for filling our water bottles and the ice cold lemon flavoured water. Grateful for the stream and being able to ash of the sweat from today. Grateful for Georgia and Hannah making our journey more colourful.
TA Day 49
Rivertime Losge to Whanganui Top 10park
KM Covered today
Total KM covered
Today was another hard day. Paddling into the wind AGAIN. Today was broken into 2 halves due to the incoming tide. It was amazing to see that even 20km inland from the ocean had a huge effect on the water level , rising roughly 1m in an hour. David had promised me that the last 20km would be easy due to going with the tide......he lied. LOL. It was hard but rewarding, we pulled into the Whanganui Top 10 Holiday Park tied but very chuffed we had conquered another part of this journey.
After 5 days on the river I have muscles in my arms like never before, which reminded me of my younger brother. When he was about 4-5 he used to flex his muscle and ask my mum how big his muscles were, my mum would say he had knots in cotton. Well after the Whanganui River I think I have knots in cotton. Lol
HIGHLIGHT: The amazing staff at the holiday park
LOWLIGHT: Saying goodbye to Sven and Sybil
Gratitude sometimes is an obvious thing like having a great day, but sometimes it is a subtle thing like feeling like I have achieved something. So today I am grateful for the conscious feeling of being proud of myself for paddling 200km even though I was in pain and exghausted. I am grateful for my amazing partner who found ways to keep us both going when it got tough. I am grateful for the Whanganui Top 10 holiday park who greets all TA walkers with beautiful cabins at a great price, and a amazing hot chip machine.
TA Day 48
Jeruselum to Rivertime Lodge
KM covered today
Total KM covered
Woke up this morning hoping that the wind situation had improved over night. With the prospect of a hard paddle as well as three big rapids it was looking like a shitful day. Funny how your mind set has to change when there is no alternative but to paddle. We set of around 8am and it wasn’t long before the wind picked up again, so it was heads down and paddle. It wasn’t long before we hit the first rapid, which we successfully manoeuvred, same with the second. By the third rapid I think we were a little cocky, well what do they say pride comets before the fall. Let’s just say we got through, it wasn’t pretty but we didn’t end up in the water. This rapid is called 50/50 as about half the people who paddle it end up in the water, so pretty chuffed we made it through. To be honest I can’t take much of the credit as I panicked half way through and dropped my bundle a bit, it took a loud “paddle” from David to shock me back into action. Having made it through successfully we sat and watched other successfully and unsuccessfully managed the rapid. David got a great video of Sven & Sybil taking a spectacular spill into the water.
Made reasonable time got in around 5pm
We also called into the Flying Fox, the B and B we are going to do some volunteering at in January. It is so gorgeous.
HIGHLIGHT: Making it through 50/50
LOWLIGHT: Without sounding like a whiner I have to say the bloody wind.
Today I am grateful for the people we meet along the way, from other TA hikers to the people who offer accomodation, to people who are curious about what we are doing. Each interaction bring me joy and expands who I am as a person. I will be forever grateful for their contribution to my journey. I am grateful for the muscles I am growing and for the muscles that are continuing to recover daily. I am grateful for this life, I am so far out of my comfort zone, everyday I have to recite my mantra of fit, strong and capable to myself before I set of. If I didn’t I would freeze in the spot, it’s scary not knowing what the day will bring.
TA Day 46
John Caul Campsite to Te kernite
KM covered today 38
Total KM covered
Had a great day cruising down weather was perfect. David and I are really starting to master the rapids, so far we have not ended in the water. We have passed many people who have tipped their canoe going through the rapids. So today was again a dream. Pulling into camp we were met by the caretakers who were Moari and they invited us to a traditional Mouri welcoming ceremony. It was really cool and I felt genuinely welcome. The NZ people have really blown me away with their generosity. We have not had a bad experience with any of the locals. During the welcoming ceremony the host stands in the middle of the Mari and tells you that him and all his ancestors before him welcome you to this place.,then thought have to do the same stating your name, where you are from, why you are there and thank them. It was really touching.
HIGHLIGHT: The welcoming ceremony
LOWLIGHT: people being noising in camp to very late.
TA Day 45
Whakaporo to John Coul campsite
KM covered today 40
Total KM covered:
Started the day early with the guy from Blazing Paddles picking us up at 7 so we could be on the river early. After an hours drive the guy backed down this little road leading down to the river. The road was overgrown and didn’t look like a great place to launch the canoe, however after pulling everything out of our packs and securing them into water tight barrels it was all systems go. Neither David or I have had any canoeing experience so I was a little apprehensive that we were let loose on the river with a couple of mud maps, 2 oars and life jackets. However.......The day turned out to be quiet surreal paddling down the Whanganui River was so beautiful even if the weather wasn’t perfect, in fact we were on the river about an hour and it bucketed down. It rain so hard we had to pull in under a ledge and bail out all the water. But besides the rain it was a slow easy paddle with amazing scenery . I said to David I expected to see a brontosaurus peak it’s head over the ridge, the vegetation seemed ancient. Pulled into a camp spot after 6 hours of paddling , arms feeling a little tired then had to haul our 2 big bins of gear up a mountain. Geez they don’t make it easy for you.
HIGHLIGHT: The peacefulness of the river
LOWLIGHT: The landing at the campsite, nearly busted my boiler pulling our gear up the bank.
Today was one of those days where you pinch ourself to ensure your not dreaming. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to experience this. Grateful for meeting back up with Emerlie and Maria. Grateful a proper toilet ......I was busting to go when we finally docked.
TA Day 43
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing
KM travelled today.: 19km
Total KM covered:
Today is one of those days that stays in your memory forever. Having caught a bus yesterday to National Park we headed out first thing this morning to conquer the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The walk starts with a slow boardwalk climb between Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro. The walk was up up to 1877m above sea level. Higher than we have climbed before, although the legs did feel it, it was reasonably comfortable. Once we had reach the highest point the trail took a turn for the worst ( knew it was to good to be true). The trail headed down at about a 45degree on SHALE, it was shitty. This went on for about 800m before turning into a walkable trail again. By this time we where walking on a different planet, or so it seemed, taking in the Sulphur Lagoon the Red crater and the Blue lake. Everywhere you looked , looked more like the moon than earth. The rest of the climb down was a slow meander through alpine country. The last 6 km was along side a fast flowing creek through a shady grove just lovely.
HIGHLIGHT: The whole day was amazing.
LOWLIGHT: My bloody ankle has flared up again.
Today I am so grateful for nature and all its amazing contrasts. I am grateful for my gorgeous bed, last night I slept like a baby. I am so grateful the way my relationship with David is developing. Doing what we are doing can be difficult on a relationship but I feel we are growing stronger and stronger everyday.
TA DAY 37
Doc Nakau Walk Campsite to Pahautea Hut
Km walked today :10.5km
Total KM walked : 848km
Today was a ver short day started at 6.30 am and finished at 11.30am and covered 10.5km. However don’t be tricked into thinking we are getting soft....oh no that whole 10.5 km was up up up to the highest point we have reach to date (959m above sea level)through the Pirongia Forest. The track was reasonably good for the first 5km but then turned into a desperate scramble over rocks and roots....... still doable but exhausting. So when we reach the hut we decided to call it a day. With running water, drop toilet and a bed it’s luxury. It's also a DOC hut so the cost is covered on our DOC Hut Pass....... that will help the budget a bit
Lack of energy is currently a problem, I think mainly to weight loss, I have been doing a bit of research and they say it takes the body about 2 months to adapt to increase activity and rapid weight loss so I am counting the days . Would love to wake up and not be stiff and sore........ that may have to wait until we finish the Trek. LMAO.
HIGHLIGHT: The view, especially as I can see it from INSIDE the hut
LOWLIGHT: The aches and pains in my feet, my ankles, my knees, my hips, my shoulders....well actually everywhere Lol.
Today I am grateful to New Zealand’s Department of Conservation for providing me a beautiful hut to sleep in tonight. I’m grateful to the universe for providing perfect weather for walking and yet again I have to give thanks to the Spunky Rooster for his love and patience because I as a little whiney today.
TA DAY 35
Hamilton Zero Day
KM covered : 0
Total KM walked:
Although today was a Zero Day we still had lot’s of “chores” to do. We had sent from Auckland a box of resupplies (mainly toiletries and a new pair of shoes) to Hamilton, which we needed to organise to pick it up. Washing needed to be done and of course we needed to resupply for 6 days in the wilderness. Also the resupply box contained the lap top so this gave me the opportunity to update the website, something I have been having trouble with on the iPad. So whilst I sat in the hostel and updated the website David run around and did the chores. Then we had a ceremony to say goodbye to my shoes, they had served me well 800km held together by dental floss at the end, then they were unceremoniously thrown in the bid. Hopefully my new ones will do as good a job. I also got all my hair cut, this time no colour so it’s staying my natural colour which is unfortunately very grey.
HIGHLIGHT: Breakfast, and the Blueberry and white chocolate muffin we had for morning tea.
LOWLIGHT: The room we booked has no aircon, so a sweaty nights sleep.
Today I am grateful for great internet so I can let all of you know how we are going. I am grateful for the peace and quiet to be able to concentrate. I am grateful for all the messages and comments on Facebook from you guys that make me feel we are making a difference.
TA DAY 34
Ngaruawahia to Hamilton
KM walked 18km
Total KM walked
Today’s walked was absolutely perfect, walking a new developed bicycle track along the Waikato River. We took advantage of the facilities and had lunch on the river bank. Caught up with Sandra , Pete and Cassidy fellow Trampers we had met earlier in our walk. The bicycle track as amazing and must of cost a fortune, it was like walking in the botanical gardens. We had decided to have a zero day in Hamilton due to having to pick up our parcel and do resupply. So checked into a backpackers into a private room...argh the luxury of a private room can not be underestimated. You can strip of, you an pull all your gear out and just leave it around, you can strip of, you don’t have to share the tv, you can strip of. Sorry to labour the point but, just being able to take of all your clothes at the one time and not have to put them straight back on is a real luxury on the trail when you always have people around and have to be sensitive to that. I also got my hair cut today so I am grey as and I can’t say I am revelling in it atm. Obviously I need to keep walking😁
HIGHLIGHT: Being naked
LOWLIGHT: Nothing decent on TV
Although I love interacting with people on the trail it does drain me of energy. I’m grateful for town food from fresh bread to coffee. I am grateful for coconut oil had a shower then covered myself in it, my skin feels soft for the first time in weeks.
Oh I forgot to tell you the best thing about where we stayed last night....they offer a deal called Slack Pack. This is where if you stay 2 nights, Judy the host will pick you up from where you finish walking on the first day, bring you back to camp, then in the morning drop you where you finished the day before. So AMAZING. It means that today we walked a big forrest walk with just a day pack...heaven. AND when Judy picked us up we went via the shops and picked up STEAKS, to cook on the BBQ, thank you Anne Westgate & Jeremy Warren for the donations for burgers. I hope you don't mind we had steaks instead of burgers...they were amazing.
HIGHLIGHT: Has to be the steaks for dinner
LOWLIGHT: No lowlight today, it was a great day
Grateful for donations, it is a very generous thing for people to do. Grateful for the Slack Pack deal. Grateful for the amazing Te Araroa.