Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Days 41-42: Long walks and Ents

Day 41. From Te Kuiti the trail starts as a nice Forest walk with a few big weta...
... Before becoming a Farm walk- following the Mangokewa river, with gorse, and worse- brambles!
There were some nice bits along the way as always!
But it was an unexpectedly long walk and when I finally reached the road it was far later than anticipated, around 4 pm. After considering my options, I decided on a Night march to a campsite at the start of the Pareore Forest. This involved an additional 35 km road verge walk through the night, finally arriving at midnight having walked through drizzly rain and pitch darkness to set up my hammock and be asleep by 0100. 
During setup of my camp I couldn't really see anything other than grass and trees. I did hear mysterious noises nearby which I decided to ignore until daylight. Of course it rained hard throughout the night!

Day 42. Overnight rain filled up my water bottles after I rigged them from my tarp to collect fresh water. I got up and the mystery noise was solved! Another hammocker! 
I also had a chance to see where I had set up in darkness the night before.
Sweet, just the way I like it, quietly tucked away (although unfortunately close to the long drop toilets, which explained a few things). I ate breakfast kinda hopeful I would meet my neighbours, but despite me having far less sleep than them, no one was stirring by the time I broke camp  and headed into the forest park. Maybe they weren't TAT walkers after all?
Up to Pureora Summit required wading up and down a 'river' which now occupied the trail made for a fun morning...
... And I spied some Ents!
The Summit was misty and a hard wind was blowing, good timing for an obligatory 'selfie'.
Arrived at Bog inn hut early afternoon, and given the worsening weather I decided to stay. 
With difficulty I got the fire going just in time for my mysterious campsite neighbours to drop in- I finally meet Christophe and Bela!
swapped trail stories and whiskey through the night! It rained heavily throughout and had me reviewing maps to see if there were any major stream/river crossings the next day. Great to finally meet some other TAT walkers. Will join forces for a bit and see how it goes.... 

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to reading more on how it's going, especially with the added challenge of the weather bomb, crossings of streams and rivers, etc!