I got going as soon as I could as I wanted to get to Raetea Forest before sunset. Only a few kms from my night bivvy into the forestry and farmland of Takahui, but it seemed to take forever!
Finally broke out of the forest (and a lovely one it was), to trudge down a farm track which was half mud, half cow excrement. I was less than delighted as I had gone to great pains to keep my feet dry and poo free. I got to my next turnoff and looked back on Herikino. My walking poles are being used to air dry my now delicately-scented socks.
With renewed vigour, I proceeded to try to follow the trail notes, having great difficulty finding the start to the forestry track (I think the mentioned stile and tree-mounted markers have been destroyed by storm or cut down and are now merrily crackling in your fireplace). I gave up and followed map and compass, finding my way Through lovely farms to the start of the Raetea Forest track.
After what I had been reading and a warning given to me by local hunters about how hard the track is, especially the saddle, I had steeled myself for a hard slog.
Yes, it was fairly steep, muddy and a rough track, but it wasn't really all that bad! Happy days! I got to my anticipated night bivvy a couple of hours early, so I pressed on and found a great spot with a beautiful outlook (and did I mention excellent indoor/outdoor flow?).