Day 67 Company to walk with
Sunday 15 December National Park Village to a road junction at Kaitieke Start 9.30am Finish 4.50pm Distance 27km Total 1178km Steps 44,580 Elevation: pretty much all down hill Weather: overcast and mild, so just perfect
A surprisingly pleasant day today. On the map it looked like all road walking and that I would have to find somewhere on the side of the road to camp. Added to which my body was starting to really feel the effects of the previous four days. So I was of the mindset that this was a head down, butt up kind of day. I had given myself the harden up and get on with it princess speech so I was all ready for the day ahead.
I had a leisurely start, getting a few more supplies (chocolate and toothpaste - the irony of these two essential items is not lost on me), and I indulged in a full buffet breakfast. If I was honest the breakfast was a little disappointing. Maybe I was comparing it to the breakfast at the Chateau yesterday and therefore it was always going to fail. Again the harden up princess speech was required.
Karen from the small group I am doing the river with had texted me to say they were also departing from the village that morning. Half an hour later I found them having a break and then walked with them for the rest of the day. It made it much more interesting. Baxter, the 14 year old doing the trail with his Dad Dave, is a real character with a cheeky streak, Karen is a great conversationalist and Dave a kind and patient person. I feel confident we will make a great crew together on the river.
So the day on the road went quickly. A small part of it was more of a grassy track despite having a sign saying it was a public road. It ran along some beautiful bush and was very picturesque. Other than that it really was just road through farm land.
We are all camped alongside a war memorial monument at Kaitieke which has a public toilet, water tap and plenty of flat grass area. What more could you need? (Well a god damn cafe and an actual bed would be good but the princess is trying to be grateful.) It started to lightly rain just as we arrived so it was a race to put up our tents. As is Murphy's law, it stopped as soon as our tents were up. Not so sure we are going to be so lucky tomorrow, the forecast in the afternoon is for lots of rain, which is set to continue for the next couple of days.
My main aim for tomorrow is to get to Whakahoro, before the Blue Duck Cafe closes at 5pm. It is only 23km of road walking so should be an easy achievement. We are also staying in a DOC hut there so the inner princess is very happy indeed.
Where we are camping tonight there is a sign post for Owhango which I passed through 4 days ago before starting the 42 Traverse. I know we walked around the houses in a big loop to get here but the road sign slaps you in the face with just how far around we went. Since Owhango I have walked 119km, and climbed more than 2,100m. The sign says Owhango is 19km away!!!! I believe I am a card carrying certified crazy person (with a little princess on the side).