Thursday, 12 September 2013

Day 13: Waikare and Russell Forest

Last night was a blast, hanging out with staff from the Mousetrap, an awesome backpackers in Paihia. Across the road from the Mousetrap the local bar had an open mic night, and Melissa who works at the backpackers really impressed with a great voice and guitar playing, despite the guitar being nearly as big as she is!
It was a fun night out and a relief to talk to people- days in the forest without company doesn't suit me as much as I thought! :-)
Hm, not the best pic, but kinda sums up the night- happy blurriness!
Next day I got going around 0830, walking the road verge to Opua where I was to rendezvous with Micaila from Dive Ops who would run me across to Waikare by water taxi. I meet her near the  Opua Cruising Club and we zipped along as she filled me in on local oyster farming and the expected numbers walking Te Araroa this season.. It surprised me to hear overseas hikers outnumbered Kiwi trampers almost ten to one!
It was a quick ride into mangroves, and we said our farewells as I stepped ashore.
After walking a metalled farm road for a few kilometers, it was into the river for 4 kms upstream- this time I felt far more settled despite the rain. 
It was kinda fun, splashing about for hours, and the cold water helped with my drink-induced 'tiredness'. I found a nice big eel (ok, 'found' is a stretch. I accidentally got my legs wrapped up by one while struggling through a deeper section of river), also some tasty-looking berries
... which I did not eat. A little too 'Into the Wild' for my liking! But if anyone can identify them for me, that would be grand.
By 1600ish I had reached a hut, but continued on my way to make best use of daylight. 
So right now I am under my tarp in the Russell Forest, warm and dry and well fed after a meal of couscous and surprise veges (thanks for the top tip, Adi!). The rain is coming down but little wind to make things uncomfortable, so I'm snug as a bug! A couple of friends have been sending me text messages titled 'Te Araroa Tip of the Day', such as 'giardia is nature's enema and helps you to shed unnecessary weight, so drink up'... And they also texted, part by part,  The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which I love but has such a depressing air to it especially when out here by myself! Nevertheless, the texts were awesome- thanks Scotty and Adi, you two crack me up.
No idea what the plan of attack is tomorrow, but it feels good to be walking South again rather than crabbing across the Island. I may also chalk up my 300th kilometer tomorrow at the end of the day, a cool milestone (10% completed!). Hoorah!
That's all folks, g'night!

No comments:

Post a Comment