Day 49

Joint 1000km celebration. (finding it harder to recognise myself in photos)

Joint 1000km celebration. (finding it harder to recognise myself in photos)

Amazing forest

Amazing forest

getting covered in "biddy bids" (grass seeds with hooks)

getting covered in “biddy bids” (grass seeds with hooks)

have i been in this lichen infested forest too long?

have i been in this lichen infested forest too long?

7.30pm Waihaha Hut (sounds like a happy place!)

Beautiful beautiful forest. It was (almost) a pleasure to be walking for 10 hours today. The forest was just stunning. The trees were all shapes and sizes but they were all coated in green lichen and moss. There was a real Fangorn “fantasy” feel about the place. We are still at altitudes of around 1000m so guess there is heaps of moisture which creates the environment for these to grow so rampantly here. Some of the trees were ginormous (rimu?). I am quite liking this Pureora forest which we are still at least another day and a half of walking out of. Not looking forward to the 51km road walk after though so am working on the possibility of Nick and Tim giving us a lift when they get picked up. They aren’t sure if they will complete the whole trail yet so fingers crossed!

Made up with Karla today and she said sorry for being a bit sharp with me over yesterday’s “camera episode”. In fact we were quite pally and had a couple of longer than usual breaks to enjoy the forest atmosphere. Talked about the future of the earth and pretty deep stuff like pandemics, natural disasters like Yellowstone super volcano erupting, wars over ever diminished resources etc.

But much more importantly We celebrated the 1000th km of the trail in lichen wigs and in my case a matching beard.

Worked out we’ve shared 22 days of the trail so far but this will come to an end soon as Karla is taking a different route after Tongariro (and probably we’ll split at next town Taramanui as I’ll be hitching up with Chris). Should get to see her and fiancé James when we get towards Wellington so can catch up then.

Tim Nick and Zoe actually caught up with us at our last long break beside an idyllic forest stream. Been having a good chat with the “boys” this evening. Tim grew up in England and India (parents owned tea plantation) before coming to NZ. He and his wife run their own training company but are winding down ready for retirement. Nick came out of regular army in late eighties and has been an apple orchard owner (until tesco came in and demanded smaller apples) and then ran a vineyard for some rich dude.He has a Bach on a lake and goes trout fishing.

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