Today – 32.7km From Toko Corner Road camp to Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre
Total – 1526.1km
Broken into two parts, todays tracks were long, muddy and challenging. But totally awesome!
It was great to be back in the bush today. I had an early night last night and rested up, so that was super nice.
This morning I set off around 8am, and almost everyone was leaving around this time.
Theres kind of two groups and then a few solos, including myself. Everyone is really nice that I’ve met so far.
To start with, Burtons track, this morning’s challenge. Very few photos on this, due to the crappy weather that ensued about half an hour after leaving camp. Raincoat day!
I knew there were lots of stream crossings today so was a little worried.
Came to the first crossing and it was okay, nothing to be concerned about and I waded through fine.
The next few were also okay, but the streams were browning and I knew they were going into flood and could tell they had risen rapidly from normal.
I got to one where I wasn’t sure about crossing due to the colour and speed. I assessed it really carefully and then after another look at it picked a wider point and crossed safely. Having poles really helps and being steady with many points of contact.
Luckily, despite many more stream crossings, they all were very manageable and the rain petered out about 12pm.
Also, woohoo! Unceremoniously crossed the 1500 mark and shoved a snickers down my face in celebration. Halfway!! So crazy.
It was muddy and slow going track today, so kms take much longer than you think. I find I go at a good speed in the forest when I get used to reading the terrain.
I met Ralph, Iben, Casey and Laine who were right behind me , for lunch , which we took at a shelter some locals are building for TA hikers. Awesome place to rest up out of the rain!
Had a hot choccy to warm up. Brianne [USA] came along after a tough time in the forest and looked like she needed a pick me up so I hiked with her for a few km and we checked out the big Dam.
Then it was onto the Mangahao-Makahika track which said it would take 6-7hours , eek. It was already 2.45pm so I knew I could find a spot to pitch my tent before dark if I wasn’t going to make the end.
I made really good time in the forest, and enjoyed the greenery as well as the challenge of up and down track. Was thankful the rain was over for the day!
Hit the summit lookout and snacked on some delicious lollies [snakes] and started the hefty descent.
Cruised down and began the last set of stream crossing which were gorgeous and no longer affected by this morning’s rain, yay! The trail wound it’s way around the river constantly, so about 12 times I crossed the creek!
Came out at a beautiful clearing to camp at, but 3.6km onwards was my destination, hot showers and perhaps even a bed at the Makahika outdoor pursuit centre.
Alas, when I got there, the group ahead told me that a tree had fallen on the powerline so no hot water or wifi. The owners are actually away on holiday but left some awesome notes for TA hikers and so we set up tents and made use of the wonderful big marquee tent. Maybe a shower in the morning ?