Jan 4 & 5
So a new day dawned after an interesting night. Something woke me at around 1.30am and I peered out the back window and got an amazing display of poi with glowing poi that changed colour…quite wonderful and very quiet, so still don’t know what woke me.
So I decided to get up early and do the 1 hour loop track and see how things were. It was a nice little walk through the bust to a lovely Kauri grove and then back up to the camp……..well my legs were saying enuf!
SO I had a bit of a lie down and caught up on a couple of Facebook things and my sister Val had told me to harden up after I grizzled about my sore legs. So I then decided to put together some lunch and head off down the Upper Waipapa Track. What worried me was the amount of downhill and steepish downhill there was at the beginning of the tramp.
I was thinking that I have to walk back up here later. Still it was a lovely walk through some quite diverse bush vistas. There was scrubby manuka, ponga and flax groves, and some lovely totara and kahikatea groves. There was a lovely river crossing and I was looking forward to some more but they never eventuated. I was quite disappointed again with the lack of views of either the surrounding countryside or the river that the track ran alongside. I believe that the river runs fairly full in winter so the track is a distance away to keep things safe.
At 4.5 km I decided that I had had enough and paused, had my lunch and headed back. I was thinking that this wasn’t so bad on the way back until I hit the final hour and oh boy! I had the right of it on the way out. It as a bloody tough grind back to the DOC camp. I was very very knackered when I hit the camp. I staggered to the bus, grabbed some clean clothes and hit the very cold shower. What a blessed relief as the day was very hot. Luckily most of the tramp was under the canopy and cool but on the last leg there was a walk in the open for about 500m and I was sweating like a pig!
Still, after a lovely cold shower I cleaned off my boots and walking stick and sprayed them with disinfectant and had a bit of a nana nap. I thought that after 9km “I had done enough for a mellopuff”
It was a very noisy evening with loads of people arriving after 7pm so was quite a disturbed night. Still in the morning I decided to set off early and head up towards the top of the country.
After a lovely drive through to Kaitaia, through the Mangamuka Gorge. I had forgotten how beautiful that was but how windy, steep and narrow it was.
I arrived in Kaitaia and dumped my waste tank, the water wasn’t running at the dump station so for the first time I used my own supply. Worked well.
From there I hunted around for the local supermarket. Found the remains of the Pak n Save but no sign of any other supermarket in town! I finally stopped by a house with a motorhome parked in the drive and a couple sitting outside it and asked. He laughed and said that I was not alone and that if I had continued up the road towards the north there I would find the new big and improved Pak n Save. Sure enough three corners and a roundabout later, there it was. I noticed that there was a fruit and vege place just past it so pulled in there first to stock up on some fresh fruit and veges and managed to get everything I needed from there and decided that a bigger shop could wait until I returned through.
I then decided to head up to a POP (Park Over Property) in Houhora. It was a lovely little spot just behind a fruit and vege stall! Go figure!
Still it was a lovely night only 50 meters off the main road, but tucked in beside a hedge, so the wind and rain didn’t disturb me too much.
I had decided that in the morning I would strike out for the top of the country.