Sunday, 6 October 2013

Days 33 - 35: To Hamilton and Beyond!

Day 33. It was a fairly quick walk into Hamilton from Ngaruawahia, with quite a nice scenic stroll into the city following the river walkway.
By midday I had found a backpackers, so set off to explore. 
Giving into my cravings: legumes, meat and red wine ;-)
The guys at Trek and Travel turned out to stock some awesome hiking gear, were really nice and knowledgable, and gave me a discount without me asking! Thanks guys! They also helped me out with repairing my Salomons, which already have holes in the mesh.
My Salomons after some repair work...
A bit disappointing, but hopefully the urethane will see them through to Wellington! While I was at it, I picked up some inov8 313 GTX to try as an alternative. I'll give everyone an update on how my gear is going in a day or two.

I did some planning, and looked at my food situation. I've hit the wall a couple of times in the afternoons despite having a large lunch- I suspect it was a lack of carbs at lunch that may be the culprit. So I've rejigged the menu a bit:
Breakfast consists of muesli, chia seeds, goji berries, dried fruits and a multivitamin  and mineral supplement; after that I snack every hour on nuts, dried fruit and m&ms :-); lunch is multigrain crackers, cheese, bier sticks and peanut butter; dinner is usually couscous, olive oil, a flavour sachet such as a fajita mix, freeze dried veggies, and chocolate or liqorice tea for dessert. I carry chicken noodle soup and coffee sachets to help warm up when I set up camp or just need some extra morale; and of course the booze bag- at the moment I have a very nice Dunedin distilled whiskey. Six days of food looks like this:
... This pic excludes the m&ms which I was testing the quality thereof. They passed muster. So it was a grand old day and Hamilton pleasantly surprised me. And I just realised I have passed the 750 km mark, which means 25% of the trail has been completed! Woohoo!

Day 34: A zero day. The best bits about this day has been getting a great massage from Lisa at Forme Day Spa- she also offered advice on stretching and some yoga poses she thought might help my body cope. Thanks Lisa! I also caught up again with Bec and family, travelling on their way back to Auckland to fly home. She was kind enough to shout dinner, which was brilliant! Lastly, I caught up on a movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. So a fantastic day.

Day 35: On the way to Pirongia. I wasn't sure if I would reach the Northern campsite by nightfall, but gave it a crack anyway. On the way out of the city a gent out walking his dog stopped to chat, and gave me the good oil on what to expect of the trail up to Pirongia. Turns out he was spot on. Cheers, mate. It was then a  small detour through Tuatea Arbortorium, which I found fascinating. Unfortunately I had my goal to meet so pressed on, but not before catching sight of a fairly rare Moa, hard to spot nowadays ;-)
And I stopped briefly also to admire this scene...awwww.
.. And then on to Whatawhata!
Had lunch at a nice wee cafe opposite the petrol station, had a pleasant chat with a couple who teach nearby, and also  met this fella, who was dead keen on my mince and cheese pie.
After lunch I followed the trail notes to lead me to a 'track' behind a church. It was crazy stupid, taking me down a steep bank, covered in weeds, garden refuse, glass bottles and metal junk to emerge onto a boggy mess of a riverbank which I was to follow for a few kms upstream. After scratching myself up on what I think was an oven door and squelching wetly around at the bottom of the bank looking in vain for another trail marker, I opted to follow the road instead. At least I have an up to date tetanus booster! Things got better after that.
And by 6 pm I was in my campsite on the Northern slopes of Pirongia! Sweet, because I intend walking over the mountain through to Waitomo by Monday, where an old buddy of mine and his family should be meeting me. And I will leave you with some last pics as I go to bed. Night, all!


  1. LOVED the Moa pic! LOL. how crazy was that! I actually laughed out loud & thought, "Brilliant!" kudos to whoever made it.How unusual to see you looking wet! How is the new hammock & combo working out? better? Good to hear about multivitamin and mineral-that should help out. You didn't give an update on the cow patty walking/sighting/slogging through.After so much city walking-I bet you are enjoying being back in the bush! Stay safe Kiwi Scout!

  2. Great walk and story. Pretty much says it all for that area. Hope you arent to blasted from the wind today weds.

  3. I think a mustache trim is in order Pat.