22nd November

15.6km

Hamilton 758km to Whatawhata 773.6km

My body has adapted to it’s new life of hiking everyday. The pain in the feet, legs, hips and shoulders have gone. So has the need to stop every hour for a long rest. I’m not feeling any need to hike 14 hours per day but feel I could if I wanted.

My energy levels are very high right now. It’s a strange feeling to have so much energy. Arent we supposed to have less energy as we get older. So what has changed from other hikes, why do I feel better on this hike. And I do feel better.

Could it be that I have cut out sugar in the form of soft drinks, sugary desserts and snacks. I have not cut out sugar completely. I still eat chocolate, cookies, milkshakes, fruit and other stuff but not so much simple sugars anymore. My body is paying me back by giving me more energy.

It’s hard to cut out sugar completely when thru hiking as I’m unable to control what is available to buy at places when I resupply. When I finish this hike I think I’ll cut sugar from my diet as best as possible. I feel great.

10am photo, posting off the 1st round of postcards.

Anyway, back to hiking. A quick stop at the post office to post off some postcards before hitting the trail with Michelle. It was a short couple of hours hike to a bar with a garden that lets hikers sleep for free. The town of Whatawhata doesnt have much. A service station, cafe and a pub called the backyard bar. The owner Roger spent some time at Pogues place, a bar we slept at about 5 days ago. He liked the idea of the place being open to hikers. When he bought the Backyard bar he set about doing the same thing. And so it was that for the first time ever, tourists were staying in Whatawhata. At first the locals were a bit skeptical. Now hikers are treated like locals, joining the conversation and banter.

I sat with Roger and about 8 other locals learning about life in New Zealand. Friendly banter was exchanged, specially about the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby team and their recent loss to Ireland. For those that are not aware, rugby is popular in New Zealand. A quick search on YouTube or wikipedia will tell you just how successful their team is on the world stage. As an Aussie it was great to see the team is human. We might even beat them one. Probably not.

For those of you that live vicariously through my travels would you like me to send you a postcard from New Zealand? I have set up a Patreon site with various levels of support. For those that would like to help out with my journey, I can give something in return. Thank you in advance. https://www.patreon.com/bikehikesafari


You might like to read:

Complete Te Araroa Trail
Te Araroa Trail Gear List
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

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