Today – 34.4km From Rangiriri to Ngaruawahia
What an awesome day. Got up early and left camp by 7, as I wanted to enjoy some chill walking before it got too hot. I knew today could be a tough one as we had the Hakarimata range to traverse requiring lots of up and down.
The first part of the day went to Huntly, following the river stopbank and through paddocks.
Had some cow encounters, usually involving me talking to the cows while initiating a wide berth.
Also, electric fence 1, Courtz 0 today. Wasn’t a huge zap but my usual rule of treating them all like they are electric, turns out my lower half is smaller than I thought so I was halfway across when I got the shock. Ah well. Better let Waikato have one. So far that’s one for Northland and one for Waikato.
Got to walk on the edge of a golf course for a km or so, lush grass.
It got warm early, but I made good time to Huntly, where you get a good look at the big power station chimneys.
Stopped to say hi to a lady and her granddaughter in Huntly, and she gave me chocolate cake which she just got from the bakery. Legend! Thanks so much.
Popped into the dairy to grab a bag of chips to go with my choccy cake for lunch [this is the hiker diet on a hilly day ha ha ] and the lovely dairy owner offered to top up my water bottles. Cheers.
Definately needed all that water, the Hakarimata range walk was a goody. Beautiful native bush and at either end of the 5 hour trek the locals were using the walkways.
Great to see people out and about enjoying nature.
The walk was one of my favourites so far. The grade was pretty good, or I’m just getting fitter. Had a nice extended lunch and lots of afternoon breaks as I made pretty good time.
A bit of mud hanging out on the track but only about a 2 on the scale from 1 to the Raetea forest, which is what all TA hikers gauge mud off now.
The final bit into Ngaruawahia is down 1500 steps [actually accurate, a sign told me] which is a huge community success story and locals love using it.
Great summit views
Had loads of good chats with inquisitive people, and was amazed at one guy who must have been a personal trainer making his clients lap up and down the stairs. What a workout! !
Also amazing inspirational quotes for those on their way up made me laugh.
Rolled into Ngaruawahia early evening and got a bottle of OJ from the supermarket, before heading to the local Motel which supports campers.
Was welcomed by the lovely lady here who gave me a tall glass of cold water, a fluffy white towel and soap for the shower, and showed me where to put my tent. Magic, and for only $10. Was like a new human after the shower.
Thanks to all the wonderful businesses and people who support the trail.
Unfortunately, after 0 blisters so far in trail, my feet decided that today was the day so I have about 4 hot patches on the tops of my toes. Pretty sore so am taking it easy with the feet.
Into Hamilton tommorrow!