Day 47 Loving being back in the bush
Monday 25 November
Rangiriri to Hakarimaka Ranges
Elevation: Approx 450m
Weather Sunny and very, very hot
I was up bright and early after an excellent sleep. Breakfast was provided so I had a bowl of cornflakes and was off. No more than half a km out of Rangiriri I crossed the Waikato River. As the sun was rising I had to stop to take photos. Then just over the bridge I finally remembered to take the belated 700km photo. And then there were these curious cows that needed their photos taken. So in the first half hour I barely covered half a kilometre.
The trail was either along the stop bank or road. There had been reports of a very angry bull in one of the paddocks on this part of the trail and I was keen to avoid it so took the road which simply ran parallel to the stop bank. I am glad I did. I found the bull - or rather it found me. As I was walking along the road the bull ran full speed towards me, snorting and stomping its hooves. Eternally grateful to be on the other side of the fence.
The sun was hot, which made the road hot. The tips of my walking poles started sticking in the tar. It is only November! What is it going to be like in February?!! There were more than 20kms to the start of the Hakarimaka Ranges and I couldn't get there fast enough.
Amazingly when I started the ranges, despite the immediate 300m climb, it was bliss. The shade was such a relief and my feet immediately stopped throbbing. I was once again reminded of how much I love tramping in the bush. A fact I tend to forget the more road walking I do.
I decided to walk until I didn't want to any more, and that this would hopefully coincide with finding a flattish spot to pitch the tent. I was so reinvigorated by the ranges that I didn't stop until 6.30pm and therefore got much further than I had expected. I reasoned at that time that there wouldn't be anyone else coming behind me, so the tent went up on the track. It was the flattest place I could find. Possibly not quite flat enough and I am slightly concerned I will spend the night rolling off my mat.
Pictures of some cows (and me at the 705km mark)