hike blog

TA Day 43, Ongarue to Taumarunui – 27 km

Lawn art along the road walk to Taumarunui.
Lawn art along the road walk to Taumarunui.

Up early just as the sun is coming up, it’s my favorite time of day. I’m conflicted about this group of hikers, but so confused about the coming days, I’m glad I found them. The weather is going to be awful and I’ll need to do sections out of order. Likely we’ll all canoe for seven days on the Whanganui together.

hike blog

TA Day 38, Mangaokewa Reserve to Mangaokewa Road – 17 km

Lambs greet me in the front yard of my trail angel hosts.
Lambs greet me in the front yard of my trail angel hosts.

What an extraordinary place to wake up to. I have a virgin forest, thick and impenetrable, across the river. Soothing rapids run all night. Birds are everywhere and the sun is finally beginning to show itself down the canyon.

I love that I pushed myself and came here, even if my clothes are damp from yesterday’s sweat and some things are getting a bit of a funk from the lack of sun. There’s time for drying later today, and I’m loving this cool campsite all to myself.

I adore being alone. Am I an introvert? A little. It feels a natural fit talking on the radio and to audiences. I enjoy time with friends and family, but there’s nothing like sitting here dirty and damp, but feeling mostly ok and enjoying this magical place on my own terms – and my own schedule. It’s the quirkiness of the chairs, tables, poop-shovel and even a fully inflated inner tube contrasted with the natural wonder of the NZ bush.

A very kind farmer leaves a sign when the crossing and the surrounding river bank is impassible.
A very kind farmer leaves a sign when the crossing and the surrounding river bank is impassible.
The beautiful bright green hills of King Country with cabbage tree and the Mangaokewa River.
The beautiful bright green hills of King Country with cabbage tree and the Mangaokewa River.
An old fashioned bit of hardware that still holds the gate in place. We were asked to ensure we closed all gates when passing through private land.
An old fashioned bit of hardware that still holds the gate in place. We were asked to ensure we closed all gates when passing through private land.