Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Day 33: Rangiriri to Ngaruawahia

It was a cold, misty morning.
After breakfast I got rolling, determined to get to Huntly in the morning so I would have plenty of daylight hours to tackle the Hakarimata forest. I wasn't sure if I would be staying in the forest or would have to press on to Ngaruawahia. It was refreshingly  cool walking, with lots of morning dew to get your shoes cold and wet.
The scene changed from cattle farm...
To golf course...
To Huntly West's town.
This is one cool plaque with some great advice:
I got to Hakarimata just after lunch, after fielding a bunch of questions from curious Huntly residents- one particular fella was ingenious enough to be two sheets to the wind before midday, but still  managing to crack a joke at my expense.
Yes, I'm off to the Swiss Alps to climb a mountain, hence the walking sticks and pack. I am just doing a spot of altitude training in Huntly first...

The views back towards Huntly were pretty cool!
And after enjoying the kauri, rimu and tawa forest, there was also a mix of nikau (always makes me think of the tropics!), and even mahoe!
Around 5.30 I got to the southern end and the peak where there is a fantastic lookout. Amazingly, there were two runners there who were warming up before a boxing session- we had a chat and took a 'super selfie'
So it has taken until Ngaruawahia for me to start bumping into people on the trail!
Good on the locals too, on my way down the thousand or so steps into town, I was  passed by maybe ten keen runners heading for the peak! 
Plenty of time to look around town and find a place to sleep. I ended up with a gaggle of local boys trailing me and peppering me with questions: where did you walk from? Do you have clothes in your pack? Is it heavy? Where do you sleep? Do you eat? My posse found me accommodation (the Arrow Lodge), and suggested some stealth camping options also. Got to love daylight savings and school holidays- kids everywhere!
Right, Hamilton tomorrow! I've got to find a masseuse to sort out these knots in my legs....

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