• Kay

Day 99 So many lessons

Parawai Lodge Hut to Waikanae (then train to Wellington)

Start 7.30am

Finish 4.45pm

Distance 24km

Total 1604km

Steps 39,442

Elevation approx 800m

Weather: Sunny

Today was one of many lessons. Things you would have thought I had already worked out bearing in mind how long I have been walking for now.

I will premise this with all the issues of today were self inflicted and first world problems. So nothing serious, I just added pressure I didn't need to.

The rain over the Tararua Ranges from Pukeatua Summit.

Primary lesson - don't book things in advance unless absolutely necessary. I booked accommodation in Wellington for tonight, and the ferry for Sunday morning, and I have one more day of walking to finish the North Island. So the bottom line is I had to get to Waikanae today. The last train to Wellington leaves at 7.30pm.

The first part of the trail today was mostly a bush track, reaching a Pukeatua Summit at 812m. According to the DOC signs it is 6-7 hours. It was 1.5km to the start of the track and then 11km of road walking into Waikanae.

So basically I just walked as fast as I could all day, and only took two, half hour break, plus taking a photo at the 1,600km mark. It wasn't fun. Right off the bat there was a 400m steep climb. On tired legs from the last three days I found it hard and started to worry I couldn't make it to Waikanae in time. I was doing less than 1km an hour. So when it leveled out I walked seriously hard. I didn't appreciate what was around me and when it came to the road walking I took the attitude of just needing to get it over and done with. I will try not to do that again.

The 1,600km mark

At the Pukeatua Summit I could see back over the ranges I had come from and it was clearly pouring with rain. So pleased with the weather I had.

One point of strangeness I did notice was 7 people up a power pylon, appearing to clean it. I'm guessing they were doing maintenance, but I could hear everything they were saying despite being a long way away.

Power pylon cleaning

I arrived in Waikanae in plenty of time. I stopped for an icecream cone and as luck would have it, after just half a dozen licks, the icrecream fell off. I had to laugh. I guessed I wasn't supposed to eat icecream, which turned out to be true as a train pulled into the station and by running I made it on. Couldn't have done it if I was still eating the icecream.

Tomorrow I will finish the North Island. That seems really strange.

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