1.05pm Junction of Mangapukahukau stream and Waipapa river.
Just been for a swim in the river, we’ve been walking down the stream for the last hour or so and this is one of best moments on the trail so far. We even played pooh stick which I won!). The river is pretty deep we were stumped as to how we could get across but then spotted a little track to side which led to shallower bit (think Brian “Ray Mears” was looking forward to building a raft to get the rucksacks over). We got on the trail around 8am (hunting dogs still there) and it has been so much more enjoyable now feet are no longer screaming at me and been walking in the water in my “crocs and Socks”. We’ve not seen another soul and this is as close to Eden as I can imagine. So far been fairly easy going (famous last words)
6.50pm (Puketi forest 30m from beautiful forest stream)
I should have known, famous last words alright. we came up from river and stumbled along narrow trail for an hour which was messy hard work before decided to drop back down to river bed which is far more pleasant (especially in Crocs and socks). Found this site about 4pm, probably done around 14kms today, I’m beginning to feel going too slowly to get the 20km average I need to get up to for 80 days but then remember I’m still recovering and that the forests are much slower going. Definitely feeling my body is adapting well.
We are getting on pretty well together as a team, no one is overbearing, each likes own company and we made decisions together. Brian is a bit of a Ray Mears and imagines himself as a bushcraftsman, he‘s been whittling tonight with a kauri branch intending to make couple of spoons for his daughters.