Day 64 Happy Days
Thursday 12 December 42 Traverse Start 6.30am Finish 5.10pm Distance 29km Total 1097km Steps 40,002 Elevation 500m approx Weather: started sunny, then cloudy, then rain
Sleep in my tent was as elusive as ever. I fell asleep quickly enough but woke frequently. The advantage of this is I get up early as I see no point lying there. I was packed up and on my way by 6.30am. There were a couple of glimpses of Mt Ruapehu however it was mostly shrouded in cloud.
By 8am I was taking a break overlooking, from a great height, a large river. It wasn't that I felt the need for a break particularly, however the view of the valley and river was beautiful in the morning sun. The map told me it was the Whanganui River which surprised me. It it near the very beginning of where it starts.
By 10.30am I had completed just over half of the day's distance so decided it was time to take my time. No point arriving at the days destination (Tongiriro Holiday Park), early and not thoroughly enjoy the day. So I took an hour at the first decent stream, putting my feet into the river to soak them. It was freezing and I could only keep them submerged for a couple of minutes at a time. Then I massaged them in between. I did the same at the next river.
Each time I even thought I might take a photo I made sure I did. That was the best way to do the day. No rushing, no racing time targets, no failing to take photos because there isn't enough time!
Slight disadvantage to this way of doing this is I didn't beat the rain. Managed to get fairly wet although not so much from the rain. When it stopped raining off came the rain coat as it was very humid. Shortly after the track became over grown with large broom. That meant I was the first walking through the sodden foliage which was well above my head height. As such I was slapped across the face and every other part of my body with beautiful yellow flowers and foliage that were soaking wet.
I had to laugh as there was nothing else for it. It did help to know there would be a hot shower at the end of the day and that it was only about an hour away.
There were parts of the track that were clearly going to be muddy, slippery and were steep water courses when it rained. Luckily I was through them before the rain settled in.
All in all a relaxing day in beautiful terrain. I was in my happy place, and my feet seriously appreciated the care and rests they had. All is good in my little world.
Tomorrow is the Tongiriro Crossing. At the moment it is absolutely bucketing down. The forecast is suggesting by tomorrow it will have moved on. I sincerely hope so. The plan is to get going by 4.30am to see the sun rise over the mountains. The campground is 7km from the start of the crossing and you can't see the mountains from here. Let's see if that plan happens.