Day 39. Realising I needed to be in Taumaranui on a weekday and with inbound wild weather, I decided to spend the day in Waitomo. Best decision! Not only did it bucket down, I decided to push my comfort zone and get underground. I got a great deal with Kiwi Caverafting, meet some fun people and was simultaneously wowed and uncomfortable for five hours- definitely worth doing!
Following the caving I hung out iat the Kiwipacka bar, shooting the breeze with Joe from the UK who was a fellow underground adventurer, and a group of locals who were an interesting bunch! One even gave me a cash donation for Shine- good on you Kennan!
Despite the Kiwi Experience kids getting drunk, loud and stupid, I slept well enough. Probably the wine helped!
Day 40. On the way to Te Kuiti! Rain. Gorse. Cows.
And then this!
And to top it off, an amazing stand of trees, filled with native birds. Sweet.
I got in to Te Kuiti with time to burn, so had a relax at the Waitomo Lodge, with manager Cath looking after me and making me feel welcome. A local New World provided dinner and provisions for the next few days until I get to Taumaranui. A few parcels waiting for me, exciting stuff (thanks for forwarding them on, Mum!). Dad offered to pick me up and return me to the trail from Taumaranui, which is fantastic- a day at the farm seems like a great way to prep for the Central Plateau and Whanganui River sections! Looking forward to the Pureroa Forest