audio narrative

a chorus of birds from both sides (of the world) now

These things are ours for God creates within our soul a mystic sense of wonder that we may hear allegro tunes among tall swaying cattails.

Gwen Frostic

Before we get to birds, a small bit of business.

So many of you have asked me how to pronounce New Zealand’s “Te Araroa.” This is my hiking-partner-for-the-first-eight-days Irene’s dad’s longtime girlfriend, Vern with her gorgeous Kiwi accent setting us straight on this Maori word.

Te Araroa is pronounced teah ah-rah-ROH-uh and means “long pathway” in Maori

There's nothing like putting wet and muddy shoes on in the morning.
hike blog

TA Day 6, Umaumokaroo to Apple Dam – 26 km

There's nothing like putting wet and muddy shoes on in the morning,
There’s nothing like putting wet and muddy shoes on in the morning.
Humidity is great for he complexion.
Humidity is great for he complexion.
A random kettle hanging off a tree in the Raetea Forest.
A random kettle hanging off a tree in the Raetea Forest.

Just putting my things up now and preparing to face a few more hours of mud until a road walk and – you guessed it, more mud! Plus a walk through a long stream-as-trail.

I must say, as birdsong fills alicoop, my quilt is perfect. It got down to 8 celsius and I was snug and warm.

But my gps is a huge power suck but I would never go in that muddy accident-waiting-to-happen area without SOS capability.

Oh, and camp shoes. So many ultra-lighters say don’t bother. This middle-aged wannabe asks how good y’all felt in the NZ bush without ‘em?

But now I’m packed, fed, heeded nature’s call and have to contend with my trail runners and socks. ‘Just do it’ runs through my mind. And you thought I was having a nice walk in the forest? ha!