Kilometers traveled: 20
total TA km: 312
After a semi dry night in the tarp tent, we woke up at 6:30. The rain stopped the second we got out of the tent. We said good bye to Ms. Carol and headed out down the road.
We walked up the winding road through the cows and away from Teal Bay.
The gravel road brought us to some of the most spectacular scenery of the trip this far. We stood in awe as we looked back out across what we had just walked, out over the ocean towards where Paihia would lie.
By 9:00, we’d already done about 7km of steep gravel road walking. The track then turned off onto Morepork track, which winds its way through the forest via a muddy, but far less muddy than Raetea, skinny track.
The forest was wet as we tramped through it and towards Whananaki. After about three kilometers, the track climbs steeply. The trail stays firm and the walking is relatively easy, despite the steep grade and shortness of breath. The views continued to amaze as we looked out over the sharp hills, full of sheep and cows, and tranquil bays. Then we had to go down.
The track basically instantly transformed into a sheet of muddy ice. We did all we could, but inevitable the mud filled the treads and the feet came out from under us. There were a lot of down hills today so we felt that we got good use out of our ski poles, as the local kiwis like to jokingly mock us for. The down hills are super steep, which is very tough on the knees and ankles. But tougher are the stream crossings. They are mentally tough. Without the pleasure of gore-tex shoes, Jasper, Jack, and Sam had to cope with their dry shoes getting soaked while I rock hopped my way through the three crossings with dry shoes.
The scenery was gorgeous today, and although we are battling some blisters, sore knees, and a hurt groin, we are still going strong. Tramping is getting easier, little by little. Even though we eat basically whenever we take a break, we are all losing weight, against my best efforts to not do so.
Despite how amazing it is here, we miss the people at home.
Still love ya,