Day 85 Starting the Tararua Forest Park
Thursday 2 January Back Track to somewhere in the bush Distance Total 1,519km Steps 31,430 Elevation 500m approx
Weather: overcast, then drizzle progressing to heavy rain. I've returned to the realms of certified crazy person with a side dose of hermit. But before explaining that...an important declaration. I'm half way done!!! 1,500km mark today. Seriously hard to believe, both in terms of how fast it is going and that I have actually walked that far. That said, if you asked my feet they would tell you I have definitely gone that far. I don't think they will ever be the same again or believe they will stop aching.
Rather than being pleased it is halfway done, I'm a little sad it is going so quickly. Strange. I didn't expect that. Today went well, with it starting cool, with low mist and some very light drizzle. Great conditions for walking. A couple of hours in I reached the shelter that had originally been yesterday's destination. There was no way I could have made it last night.
Lots of bush tracks today with beautiful lush green foliage. All in all I was having myself a great time. When I stopped at a stream for lunch and was in the middle of the stream taking photos, another person walked by. A young German woman, doing the TA! There are people out here after all. She asked if two other girls had passed - so there are more out there. About 4pm it started to rain and has progressively become heavier and heavier. There was a shelter I had planned to stay at tonight and I arrived at just after 5.30pm. Already there was the German, and a New Zealander, and about 2 minutes later the two other girls arrived.
I must have become too used to my solitude and I couldn't fathom the idea of sharing a confined space with others. So I set off, back into the rain, to find my own place. An hour later, thoroughly soaking wet, I entered the Tararua Forest Park found a flatish spot, put up my tent in the pouring rain, and here I am, snug as a big in a rug in my sleeping bag, and happy as Larry.