km traveled today: 12km
total TA km: 138
Good day?: Yes
In 50/50 (our crappier tent that gets you wet 50% of the time), Jasper and I crowded the center of the tent as the rain splattered down on us. The tent held most of the rain out, but still it sprayed rain drops at us. At 6:30, Jasper’s alarm went off and we both rolled over and fell back asleep as the rain kept coming. At 7, we called to Jack and Sam. We settled on waiting for a little longer to move out, hoping for the rain to stop. We fell back asleep and at ten the four of us settled that we’d move at noon to km 137, a whole 11km, no matter the rain situation. Around 11, the sky opened up into the lovely blue and we were hiking soon after.
The road is gravel and aside from the cave-ins here and there is easy walking. The rain had filled up the streams which had expanded their banks and at points it flooded the road, but we powered on through it. A weird arrow had us take a wrong turn onto a plateau that gave us a huge view over the vast area that is completely logged every so often and then replanted afterwards.
We passed tons of cows, each time trying to moo at them, with no better luck than Dory had trying to talk to whales in Finding Nemo. As we walked the road wound its way up the mountain and opened into a spectacular view of the scenery walked through. The many bee hives on both sides of the road tempted us to reach in for some honey, we carried on nonetheless.
Walking up and down the twisting road all day, I was thankful that my ultralight Black Diamond distance poles took some weight off my legs. At about 4pm, we found a beautiful spot on the side of the road looking down a valley onto the river about a km before the Mangamuka trail turns off the road and back into the forest.
I cooked the four of us a dinner of rice and mashed potatoes. We passed around a stick of meat and a carrot. The wind picked up and we layered up. We lounged against the wall of dirt behind us, ate, and looked out over the beautiful hills and valleys that lay behind us. We sat silently and reflected on how thankful we are to be in such a beautiful place, about how cool it is that we are able to do this tramp to Bluff, and especially how good it feels to have the support we get from back home.
Until next time,