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Day 50 Mud glorious mud

Thursday 28 November

Pirongia Mountain

Start 8.20am

Finish 5.25pm

Steps 18,452

Elevation 900m plus lots of ups and downs

Today I did Mt Pirongia, missing a section which I will go back to tomorrow. Reason being the forecast for rain tomorrow. Pirongia has a reputation for having dreadful mud, so my preference is to avoid that if possible. (It did eat my shoe at one point today). Karen again dropped me off and picked me up. I did pass the official 800km mark but I won't have done the 800km mark until tomorrow.

Pirongia from the north

On arrival I realised I had forgotten my walking poles. Karen immediately spotted some cut down trees and started to fashion me some. They would win top environmental awards but ergonomically they were bottom of the list. Narrow at the top which had my hands aching within half an hour. Then engineering genius struck. Without wastage of the existing pole, thereby maintaining the environment awards, I flipped the poles 180 degrees and viola! They were thicker and had curves in just the right places to mould with my hands. The right hand pole even had a thumb rest and the left hand pole had an extra stabalizer for steep slopes. Absolute genius if I say so myself. My modesty is obviously developing on this walk. Minor disadvantage was there ability to camouflage when I put them down on breaks when resulted in me initially forgetting to pick them up or have to search for them amoungst all the other potential walking poles.

The environmental walking poles.

I started the day with apprehension. The peak of Pirongia is 900m and there were many more ups and downs in between. Starting elevation was 80m. There is a short period at the start over farmland but then you are in the bush. I was taking my time, or so I thought, keen to simply enjoy it. I actually caught and passed two groups of people. One couple being Kathy and Pete from Nelson. What are the chances of seeing them yet again!!!

The views were lovely, although obscured by cloud and haze. It was a great day, and despite the distance and steepness my feet felt fine and I had loads of energy. Loved it all and Pollyanna is back.

Yay! Road walking

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