Today – 19km From Mangaturuturu Hut to Whakapapa Village
Today was one of those days where the scenery was epic, the sun was shining and I was just a bit tired and cranky and not really feeling like myself.
It happens. It’s hard when you walk day after day after day, you are always feeling great and your body is handling everything well, but every now and then whack out of nowhere you will have an off day. Just couldn’t get out of my head a bit today.
I started off feeling really good, until the solution to my holes in my socks came undone after five minutes of walking due to having wet feet and boots.
A few days ago, my socks wore through on the heels, and started rubbing, causing blisters. NOOOO! After hundreds of kms without blisters, I now was dealing with raw red heels. On mountainous terrain. Yay. Only 3 more days till new socks. They did last about 1000km so good job socks.
So I found a good solution that worked all of yesterday, using my repair tape to patch the socks up, as well as taping my heels.
Only problem is, when you start getting wet feet from river crossings nothing sticks.
So that was annoying from the get go.
Luckily there was some epic scenery to keep me company and I booted up the first big ascent of the day to Lake Suprise. Gorgeous.
The track was very up and down [suprised?] today, through big river valleys and sometimes the track needed a lot of concentration, scree slopes and awkward footing. Lots of unbridged stream crossings which were magic on the feet to cool them down.
I had a headache for most of the morning and made myself sit and eat heaps of snacks and chug a bunch of water and all of a sudden I returned to a normal human being. Yay!
I made pretty good time but also let myself slow down a bit when I felt off. I hate feeling pressured when walking, I prefer to just tramp along and be able to stop when I want a nod to when I want. I had also decided by early afternoon I would have a lazier evening and stick around Whakapapa rather than try get back to Te Kuiti tonight.
Met heaps of TA hikers on the track today which is interesting because I saw barely any in the last few days.
One of the girls told me they had been around a big group of about 20!
Had a decent lunch at the Whakapapaiti hut and man, I’d love to stay there! It’s pretty cool to see Mt Ruapehu in summer, still heaps of snow on it, and it’s kind of random coming around the mountain and seeing the far west chairlift towers just hanging out.
Despite feeling a bit off for some of today, it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a hot shower, some chill time and chocolate.
Really recommend the Ruapehu Round the Mountain track, super cool alternative to the Tongariro Northern Circuit with more rugged remote terrain and fewer people.