Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Day 43-46: Finishing the awesome Pureora, Taumaranui road walk and a zero day at The Farm

Day 43. Having joined Christophe from Switzerland (henceforth Chris), and Bela from Germany, I headed in concert to Waihaha Hut.
This forest is just beautiful. And the birds! Great to hear and see robins, whiteheads and kaka outside a sanctuary. I needed a bit of tree lovin', as you do...
... And the boys had fun with the typical NZ forest contour line up-and-down
But we eventually reached Waihaha in good order and in 7 hours. People! Rain! Decided to stay. The people we shared the hut with were great fun- Dr's Alex and Elsa, 'Bob' the builder and his virgin tramping companion (ahem- virgin tramper, is what I meant to say), and Jo and her mates celebrating her birthday away from the farm, hubbies and kids! Typical of NZ backcountry huts, we were good friends for a night, and they were very generous with sharing food and booze which at that point we were in short supply of.
All of this sudden wealth of people and conversation was a bit overwhelming after over a month walking in solitude, but most welcome! It was a fun night. Bela was christened 'honeypot' by the girls, I assume because of his choice of drinking vessel?!

Day 44. The day was a bit drizzly after hard rain the day before, but we had kilometers to do, places to see!
We reached the next hut for a brief lunch stop.
With plenty of daylight, we agreed to push on to the road end and hopefully a place to sleep. By around 6 we were all keen to hang our hammocks/pitch tent, and thrashed around for a whole finding a place... Easier for one! Eventually we agreed on a spot and settled in.
Bela was rocking his cotton Mayan hammock, which is a classic but not really usual tramping fare...
Anyway, despite the rain we got a good night's sleep ready for a long road walk to Taumaranui.

Day 45. Today was very cool, despite the sometimes monotony of a road walk.
We met some of the local personalities, dropped in on Ngakonui for lunch, which is not only halfway between Auckland and Wellington (not independently verified),
But also has a very cool local school.
We said hi and were invited in to use the facilities and meet the students (first day back for the term) by Phil Morris, aka 'Mr Morris' to his kids, and the other teachers and principal.
Did someone just say that would make a great super selfie? Don't mind if I do, ta very much!
Great kids, great questions- well done, you lot! But despite the huge burden that the other two are carrying, we pressed on to Taumaranui.
Yes, my pack would be the hobbit-sized one in the middle.
Had a nice shopping expedition in Taumaranui, including getting some good kit from Ken at Seriously Outdoors, before Dad rescued us from the continuing torrential rain and took us back to the Farm to dry out. Thanks, Dad!

Day 46. Great to have a big breakfast and hot shower with the best water pressure short of an airport fire appliance!
Challenges of joint trip planning before driving to Palmerston North to refit and resupply. Found some good gear at Kathmandu, Macpac and Bivouac, before driving back to the farm to ensure gear is working and dry, pack food etc, with lots of flooding in evidence! Will confirm how conditions are in the morning. Cousin Alison got in touch, she works for DOC, and hopefully I can catch up somewhere on the way to the Tongiriro Crossing. Dad sorted out a big roast dinner for us which was perfect pre-tramping food, and we did minor admin stuff into the night. Looking forward to this coming week! Woohoo!


  1. As always, love reading the blog-diary-of your journey! Glad you were able to meet up with Chris & Bela (the mysterious Christophe). Thanks for the photo of the river! WOW!

  2. Yo - Scott and I will be on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing on Labour Weekend. Does that coincide with your plans...?