Te Araroa Trail – Taumarunui to Whakapapa River
Anouck and I woke at 5am and got a lift into town at 6.15am. Nothing was open except Maccas, so I had my first Maccas brekkie in about 10 years (and my 2nd brekkie of the day). I enjoyed a sausage & egg muffin. It was as delicious as I remember being. It came with a hash brown (oil, with something vaguely resembling fried potato) which was equally as delicious. The barista coffee was surprisingly decent too.
Anouck, Anja, Markus and I set off on the trail at 7.15am. It was another scorcher of a day, and the trail took us on a gravel backroad out of Taumarunui to Owhango.
Today was my first day in my second pair of shoes. I ‘wore them in’ yesterday i.e. stretched them as much as possible, by my wearing 2 pairs of socks with them all day (which was painful). Today they were big enough & pretty comfy. I taped my feet this morning on both 2 littlest toes on both feet, inside & outside edges of balls of feet, back of heels and preventative compeed plasters on both inner heels (where I always blister). No blisters…yet!
The walk was lovely. Beautiful rolling hills, quite an elevation and lots of sunshine. We were drenched with sweat in no time.
There was some interesting animal activity today in the form of wild goats, a chorus of a hundred closely-packed baa’ing sheep in a pen. The funniest animal activity was a very entertaining/comedy ostrich in a field next to the road. She bounded towards us, then posed flirtatiously for photos before trotting alongside us as we walked on – Hilarious!
We reached the Whakapapa river at the end of Ohinetonga road – tonight’s stopover, by 2.30pm. A storm was brewing to the East so we set up our tents quickly and went to get water from the stream and had a little wash.
We all watched the storm come over, listened to the rumbling of thunder & watched the lightning over the forest. The rain came at 4.15pm so we were forced into our tents. The thunder continued for a couple of hours, so I had a little snooze. The rain didn’t cease, so at 6.30pm I took my stove to the loo to boil water (don’t use the stove in my tent) and had a dehydrated venison risotto which was fantastic.. Best dehydrated meal so far.!