Day 45 Can't think of a catchy title, so you are not getting one
Saturday 23 November
Ramarama to Mercer
Elevation approx 200m
Mum and Dad dropped me off yesterday afternoon so I could get an early start today as it was going to be a bit of a big one while still in recovery mode (and probably any other mode I happened to be in). I feel mostly alright, just a bit of a hacking cough which is at its worst in the morning and evening. Thank you again Mum and Dad. It was wonderful to stay and catch up and be looked after.
The first 19km was all road, over a few hills. Joy. Just plugged in an audio book and enjoyed the novel, and took my time. It was mostly quiet roads with the exception of 3km on SH2 which was extraordinarily busy. The road verge was very wide so I didn't feel too unsafe.
It was then on to a stop bank walk alongside the Mangatawhiri River. Very pleasant and not a lot to report. Either that or I'm currently too knackered to write anything. I suspect it is the latter. I didn't come across anyone else while walking which really surprises me. I walked slowly and had many long breaks so expected to be caught up by others. Nada. Nothing. No-one.
The last part into Mercer is an excuse for a trail just below the motorway between Auckland and Hamilton. A fair bit of bush bashing (well weeds and grass), and making up your own trail. So constant traffic noise, but if you could ignore that it was pretty and along side the mighty Waikato River. It truly is a magnificent river. It is huge and fast flowing and I am mesmerised by it. So mesmerised I forgot to take any photos of it.
Arrived at Mercer for a nutritious meal at McDonalds. I figure with all the walking I can pretty much eat what I want to, so I'm embracing that notion with vigour.
Started phoning around to find accommodation and when walking down the street the lady from the Cheese shop directed me across the road to Sandra who was happy to provide a corner of her lawn and allow use of her bathroom. With no other options as everything else was full because there was a speedway event on nearby, I gratefully accepted the offer. It is right next to the motorway, but I am so tired I am hoping I will sleep through the noise.