Punaruka Hut 278.8km to summit Camp 312.2km
It didn’t take long to walk off the wonderful hiking trails and back for another bout of roadwalking. Several of the friendly Maori boys were curious to hear how my hike was going. The morning chat was my only socialising, it was a lonely slog down the road. Till my 10am snack break.
By the way, the app I use to upload this blog post is not working properly, so no tags on the photos, sorry.
I reached a turnoff to the town of Oakura, it was only 1.5km detour, but promised a cafe and general store to resupply. As I was carrying too much food I chose to keep on walking. The official trail notes from the Te Araroa association says hikers should carry 6 days food for the next section. After 1.5 days I reached a resupply point. I tried to let several other hikers know that the notes were incorrect. Live and learn.
It was a hot day by New Zealand standards, maybe 26 Celsius, with an intense sun that is sure to help along my aging process. The afternoon trail was pure bliss. Hiking trails, palms, tree ferns and a constant call of songbirds. The only thing missing was company. For the second day I haven’t seen any other hikers. Its getting lonely out here as I spend my time talking to the birds.
With the exception of a 1km roadwalk the whole afternoon was on trails through the forest. Now this is how the Te Araroa Trail should be. Earlier I met a farmer who has the trail routed through his land. He is very supportive of the trail but also a little embarrassed that there is so much roadwalking. He really wants to show off his country to the world and he feels like the trail is letting down the country. If the first 300km is all I have to go on then I must agree with him. But as I’ve hiked a lot in new Zealand I know what is coming. It will just take a bit if time to get there.
The photo above is crossing an electric fence. It was a close call in tip toes.
The remaining last hours of light I just kept on hiking on beautiful trail. I guess I hoped that I might meet some other hikers to camp with, to talk to, to share the trail with. After 33km, my first 30km plus day, I set up camp alone on top of a hill. The bird calls were particularly loud as my eyes started to close for the night.
Next – Day 16 – More Hikers