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Day 61 & 62 Taumarunui is Cool

Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 December

Rest days

Just lots of eating, planning and having massages

So far I have had McDonalds twice, a burger and chips once, a pizza and a large piece of chocolate cake. In between I have had a smattering of healthy food but I'm working on the basis of needing to carbo load before the next section. Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Taumarunui's Historic buildings

Having two full days to rest up and plan has been a relief. The planning for the next stage has been full on as it includes the Tongiriro Crossing and kayak trip down the Whanganui River. In total 11 to 12 days.

As I can't kayak alone (the kayak companies won't allow it), I had to find at least one other that wanted to start and finish where I wanted to, and leave on the same day as me. As luck would have it yesterday I found a kayak partner, Karen. Also in our group is a guy called Dave and his 14 year old son Baxter. Karen had been walking with another person but she has just had to pull out because of injury. We are all NZers.

Karen, Dave and Baxter started the next walking part today. I have planned to take one less day, so we will all end up at Whakahoro on the edge of the river on the 17th, for the 5 day paddle to Whanganui.

This morning the kayak company (by the way they are actually canoes not kayaks), picked us all up in 6.45am (a bit early for a rest day), to go over the instructions and safety briefing. I'm not sure of the chances of me remembering any of it after 5 days tramping - hopefully Karen will have better retention than me so we don't tip out in the rapids too often. I just know I have to keep hold of the paddle when I fall out otherwise I'm up the creek without a paddle!! Yesterday we gave the company all the food we are taking as they deliver it to us with the canoes. Thank goodness it isn't necessary to carry 11 days worth of food from here. The great thing is the canoe is carrying it, rather than me, so lots of luxury heavy items have been included.

When the food was picked up yesterday from outside New World, it absolutely astounded me to see there were about 25 TAers also waiting there. I still find it incredible that it can most of the time feel like you are one of only a few on trail, until you stop for a while, and you realise how many are just ahead or behind you. Most of those gathered were missing the Tongiriro part and starting the kayak/canoe section from Taumarunui.

I had a massage yesterday which was brilliant for relieving my very tired muscles and taking some of the knots out, and I'm going back today. Once again I have been very lucky to find a massage therapist with skill, experience and spare appointment times.

I really like Taumarunui. The main street is well looked after, there are many things to do, and off the main street there a numerous lovely historic buildings. Granted - I wouldn't want to be in any of them in an earthquake, but I love the architecture.

Now need to get my bounce box sent, which will be to Nelson!! At this stage the plan is to bus from Whanganui to Wellington to catch my already booked flight to Nelson on Christmas Eve. It looks like I have a couple of days up my sleeve so the plan may change.

Next blogs will not be until after Christmas so I will wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Look after yourselves and your loved ones and be safe.

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