hike blog

TA Day 59, Kahuterawa to Makahika Outdoor Pursuits, 40 km

A delicate spider's web catches the light on the Burtton's Track above Tokomaru Valley.
A delicate spider’s web catches the light on the Burtton’s Track above Tokomaru Valley.

Robb starts the trail with me for just a few feet before pealing off. Our drive into where I left off yesterday reveals the rain’s damage – big rocks in the road, swollen river, waterfalls pushing across our path.

We part and I walk up the Backtrack – which is exactly what I do when I hit a massive landslip, backtrack! I try to climb over, but sink deep into the wet and shifting mud. At first I feel completely done in and walk back to the car park hoping for a lift.

But then I sit down on a stump and quietly calculate an alternate route. I really feel smart and tough able to carry on which is no problem on this piece of bike trail, although I keep my eye out for possible campsites should I get stopped again by another landslip.

Setting off for a short slackpack on Christmas day already soaking wet.
hike blog

TA Day 58, ‘slackpack’ Palmerston North to Kahuterawa Park, 21 km

Setting off for a short slackpack on Christmas day already soaking wet.
Setting off for a short slackpack on Christmas day already soaking wet.

It rained last night and is still raining all morning. I have tea and toast with Robb as Tara hands me a present snuck under the tree by the fat, orange tabby, Fred – tuna packets, nuts and chocolate!

I forget to mention last night in Val and Tony’s neighborhood are huge light displays with everyone out to enjoy. Quite American, actually and it made me miss home.

No one is out today in this grim weather. Christmas is a wash with constant rain, so I ask Robb and Tara if they might allow me to slackpack this portion of the trail rather than move on and camp tonight, then join their family for more holiday cheer. And they say, yes, giving me the best Christmas present ever to do this. I want to pick up k’s, but would like to stay dry if at all possible.

Summing up the situation perfectly on this rainiest Christmas in decades.
Summing up the situation perfectly on this rainiest Christmas in decades.
Many of the road walks on the Te Araroa provide little room for hikers and drivers don't "share the road."
hike blog

TA Day 57, Mount Lees Reserve to Palmerston North, 31 km

Many of the road walks on the Te Araroa provide little room for hikers and drivers don't "share the road."
Many of the road walks on the Te Araroa provide little room for hikers and drivers don’t “share the road.”

Well it was bound to happen – I wake up in pouring rain. I pack up anyway and figure, it can’t last all day, can it?

Of course the forecast is for the wettest Christmas in years. I’m in full rain gear and it’s just a drizzle right now. These days before Palmerston North are notoriously bad. It’s mostly road walk, but with the temperature cool and the sun hidden, I don’t mind it too much.