Day 42 top of the world

sleeping quarters, I've got the bottom section... supposed to sleep 8!

sleeping quarters, I’ve got the bottom section… supposed to sleep 8!

Hut register entries

Hut register entries

The hut register

The hut register

time for a bit more exercise at the hut

time for a bit more exercise at the hut

Karla's added bonus, a large Geocache at the summit too (which I found!)

Karla’s added bonus, a large Geocache at the summit too (which I found!)

Summit Mt Porongia

Summit Mt Porongia

IMG_0800
celebrating half way point of the walk across North Island (845km)

celebrating half way point of the walk across North Island (845km)

info on Porongia

info on Porongia

Well earned rest

Well earned rest

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But not for long when going uphill at pace!

But not for long when going uphill at pace!

Such a happy chap

Such a happy chap

Helicopter spraying weeds (Thistle taking over)

Helicopter spraying weeds (Thistle taking over)

amazing countryside

amazing countryside

8pm pahautea hut porangia

Feeling tired but really good after reaching a number of milestones today. Firstly this is the first hut I’ve stayed in on the TA, second I’ve climbed by far the highest peak to date, Porongia is 953m high and the previous highest was less than 500m. Finally and maybe most significant is that I am over half way on my north island walk! We are at 853km and half way was at 845. I duly celebrated this momentous occasion with a tasteful (and tasty) display.

Looks like Karla and I will be the only ones staying tonight unless have some late arrivals. There is supposed to be room for 6 to 8 people but it would be like sardines in a tin if you ask me.

Walked just over 20km today starting about 7.30am (days getting shorter now). Knew there would be a lot of climbing involved and wasn’t wrong! Karamu trail was first with quite an interesting landscape of short steep hills, followed by a bit of road margin although not too much before nice level Nikau track to a campsite at the base of Porongia Traverse where we had longish lunch before the bog event of climbing up to the summit. Finding with Karla that I am probably quicker on the road sections but she is much faster in the bush. She set off at one hell of a pace and it was all I could do to keep in her slipstream, after 70 minutes of her afterburners I was nearly done in but we took a break and thankfully slowed down a bit. After 30 minutes I began to feel light headed bit didn’t want to admit it so really thankful when Karla felt the same and we had an earlier rest to get some food in to get some energy back in the body. Good job too as got steeper towards the top with some real thigh burning step ups on to rocks and roots. Average for the summit section is 4 hours so pretty pleased to do it in 3 15 especially with a heavy rucksack.

All in all I’m feeling so much fitter, I guess that is hardly surprising after 42 days of walking all day. I really notice the difference with my pack off and I’ve lost at least 8kg of body fat since I started ( still more to go mind you as took years to put it on!). I even felt the urge to done some press up and just about managed to 10 more than Karla. Hut is pretty good and DOC have put in new toilets, campsites and will be replacing the hut soon.

Got a few days walking to get to Waitomo and then beyond. Just been looking at notes and one section is 37km road margin. I am not looking forward to that!

Hope I don’t snore too much tonight as karla is in bunk above!

We played a quiz.

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