Day 26 Pakiri to who knows where

9.45 on Taumahunga track, about 1km from summit

that was all a bit scary. I’ve been walking in cloud and rain with really strong gusts of wind up some pretty steep farmland. Luckily its calmed down now I’m on the leeward side of coast. What a difference a day makes.

Met a guy who is training for Rotorua marathon, we found the path together and I met him again on way down as he said was a bit ropey for him to get to summit but I should be ok!

Luckily I didn’t have any unpleasant dreams last night about swinging ball bags, in fact I dreamt about a kind of shangrila for hikers called Tutakana. had everything a weary tramper could wish for.

I also met Nelson Mandela this morning just as I was heading off. Well he was the spitting image of the late great Mr Mandela. Jhis name was John and he’d moved to NZ from South africa in 2005 and boy could he tell a story. I wish I had met him earleir as I could have listened to him for much longer but I already had my sack on (ruck sack that is). He was a seaman and had visited just about everywhere. He told me about visiting Belfast during the troubles and going from dep[pressing and empty pub to pub, on his way back to ship one of the pubs he visited was blown up by a bomb, he said in london he’d walked in from the docks to Piccadilly circus but couldn’t then find his way out and after 4 hours trying he’d end up back at Piccadilly. In desperation he spoke to a bobby who walked him to end of his beat to meet the next bobby who did the same and then the next one until he got back to his ship.

He had lost his wife (died ..not lost in Piccadilly circus) and had been on his own for a while renting a room in the west of Auckland. He’d recently met a lady but said she was not right in the head and disappeared for weeks on end only to come back and asked him what was for tea. she didn’t remember even whether she had milk or sugar in her tea and varied her choices every time.

1.15pm on road about 2km from Matakana

just stopped for a bit to eat and ease my poor feet, back on road margins so lot harder on them. I think pads of my feet are bruised rather than blistered so giving them a bit of relief.

I met a couple of ladies (sisters) walking up to Taumahunga and got chatting (as I seem to do all the time now). They’d been dropped off by one of the husbands on the ridge and he was driving round to meet them at summit so could go down other side to car. I met husband John near summit and told him they weren’t far behind and he’ll hear them talking away probably before he sees them. When I go to summit and the trig point I got a real surprise to find a letter with my Name Nick Lockwood Te Araroa walker attached to the trig. It was a lovely note from Jane and bob who I’d met at Mangawhai cliff walk saying they’d liked my blog and if I wanted to stay with them near Matakana to give them a ring wow that was really nice. I followed their earlier suggestion of putting dad’s shirt on the trig and john kindly took a photo of me. A big group of hikers turned up then and I chatted to them too. Most were originally from england but now lived in NZ (Piwi’s as one lady called them). They all seemed pretty interested in what I was doing and wished me well. I met John and the sisters again in the car park and got some tips on where the best coffee was in town, offered me a lift but i politely declined (wish I had taken it now as road was pretty poor and really bus

something educational for you

something educational for you

safely down from Taumahunga

safely down from Taumahunga

lovely letter from Jane and Bob

lovely letter from Jane and Bob

Great to collect my post at summit

Great to collect my post at summit

what a difference a day makes, on way up to Taumahunga

what a difference a day makes, on way up to Taumahunga

y).

Karla text to say was camped nearby and maybe catch up later so said I’d ring her when got to Matakana.

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