• Kay

Day 46 Lost and loving it

Sunday 24 November

Mercer to Rangiriri

Start 6.35am

Finish 4pm ( I think...forgot to check)

Distance 26km

Total 704km

Elevation: Approx 150m

Weather Damn hot

Never, ever, ever think you will be able to get any sleep when in a tent just metres from the Hamilton to Auckland motorway, the main trunk railway line and the local fire station. The siren went off at 11pm. I thought it was in my tent it was so ear piercingly loud. Guess that's the point. The traffic was relentless, and the trains thunderous. At least it meant I was up early.

The Waikato River

Thank you to Sandy for letting us camp on her lawn and have a shower. Also on the lawn were two Americans. Amazingly they came from Papakura yesterday. The do about 40-50km a day. Holy hell.

The first part of the track was sketchy. There were a few orange triangles scattered around, but not nearly enough. There was no well worn track, just lots of chest high grass, gorse and pampas grass. I wasn't really lost as we were running roughly parallel to the motorway and even if I couldn't see it, I could hear it. I just took my own path, and had to fight my way through and around the foliage when it got too thick. I was strangely perfectly happy doing this, despite the scratches and cuts and the slowness of my progress.

Where is the track????

Finally the excuse for a track took us under the railway line and motorway. That part was pretty disgusting, with rubbish and human waste. From there the trail followed the Waikato River, mostly along stop banks and more unclear tracks. Again pretty hard to actually get lost as long as you could see the river.

As I was having lunch admiring the river I saw a flash of orange in the water. Unbelievably I then watched three massive Koi Carp rummaging in the mud on the edge of the river. I am sure I have seen a documentary about the horrendous damage they do.

Also met four goats that were very friendly. One tried to eat my pack and I had to retrieve my earphones out of its mouth. Seriously rude. In the end I had to push it out of the way so I could get by.

The rest of the day was uneventful road walking, and it was hot. I was so oblivious I completely missed the 700km mark. Never mind, I will take a photo tomorrow at the slightly more than 700km mark.

I'm in an actual bed tonight so expecting a much better sleep. Thank goodness.

A more obvious part of the track.

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