All of my clothing was wet. I could have dried them by filling boiling water into my nalgene bottle and wrapping the clothing around the bottle. I’ve used this method many times over the years. Or I could take a half day of rest in the small town of Te Kuiti to do laundry, shower and rest. I was starting to smell a bit foul so a half day of rest was called for.
It was a short stroll through farmers fields and roads into town. The New World supermarket must be a popular place for hikers to go. Staff greeted me with the usual comments about how the hike was going. I suspect there are not too many people who go grocery shopping while carrying a backpack and trekking poles.
Next stop was to satisfy the pizza craving. With a large pizza demolished it was on to the full to overflowing backpackers. There were no rooms or dorm beds left but they allowed tents in the parking area. The other option was an overpriced hotel.
My body is holding up well, so is most of my hiking gear. As I move further south the days grow longer. In the last 34 days the sun is setting around 30 minutes later than on Day 1 and the sun is also rising much earlier. The result, it’s getting harder to wake up and hike at sunrise and just as hard to stay awake for sunset. Soon I’ll be going to bed when the sun is still out and waking when the sun is already up.
The rumour among hikers is that the trail ahead is very bad, the local Department of Conservation have already told hikers it’s too dangerous. I guess I’ll find out soon.