10am Wairoa loop track. Dam dam dam, Not even 10 and I’ve detoured already, added over a km on to go over a suspension bridge and,now looping back to this dam and hopefully the TA. I’m having abrew at this basic camp area as the water is not drinkable without boiling for 3 mins. Already got a sweat on as seems more humid with a fair bit of cloud cover.
1.35pm – 700km mark by Locked gate
Found the 700km spot and make a very tasteful marker from flax, marram grass, bullrush and fern. Left note for Karla who may be only a few hours behind. Good place to stop as have gained some useful info and a pen ( my pencil disappeared during the fracas with the eels yesterday) from the guys (Watercare, guy driving tractor and some forest workers) who have to stop and unlock the gate. Learnt there is a camp 6km down the path, that the stream at about 3km is drinakble and that a french canadian girl TA hiker camped here yesterday.
6pm All by myself Mangatawhiri camp
Well I’m totally alone in the world, or may as well be tonight at the camp as I’ve got the whole place to myself. Got here about 4pm and decided to close shop early. There were some pretty moody clouds up there and the notes also warn you that good tramping skills are needed for next 7km of bush as trails are not well formed plus going up to 400m+ summits too. Thought i’d best tackle that bit in the morning when I’m fresher and hopefully more alert (not that it stopped me going wrong this morning.)
So I’ve made camp, had a brew, made my dinner (couscous vegetables and cheese!….quite nice!!??), checked the maps and notes for next few days and will head for Mercer tomorrow (26km), written a letter to my mum, had a poo, washed in river (checking for eels before I did), eaten a few blackberries and Himalayan honeysuckle, squished all the sandflies in my tent, checked out the new bridge over the river (played pooh sticks with myself which isn’t that much fun) and now wondering what you can do to entertain yourself for a few hours before bed while on your own in a camp ground. After the obvious i came up with a top 10 list
1. Kill all the sandflies outside your tent.
2. Try to fart and burp at same time
3. Try and catch an eel with your “survival kit” fishing rig
4.Dare yourself to run naked to the toilets and back.
5. Try and measure how long a long drop actually is
6. Take more pictures of how impressive your calf muscles have become
7. Take heaps of “selfies” knowing nobody can see you.
8. Try and guess how many and then Count the number of stitches in sections of your tent seams
9. Try and smell your breath
10. Try not to smell your arm pits