7.30pm Tararua Forest Park.
Chris has gone for a lie down in his tent, I’ll give him 15 minutes before he’s asleep. It’s been a gruellingly long day and his blisters are multiplying with his tally now up to a grand total of 9. I have every sympathy for him as I know exactly what it feels like. I’ve tried to cheer him up with sage advice like “it’ll get worse before it gets better” and reassurances such as “it took me 16 days before the pain finally went”.
Thankfully it hasn’t rained on us like it did yesterday and its been cool enough for walking. A nice mixture of ups and downs through bush, forest, streams, and not too much road. As always seems to happen ( I think it must a trampers law of physics) there was a nice big level grass area only 50m from where we’d camped at such close and slopey quarters last night.
We haven’t seen a soul all day which is probably just as well as we’ve been brewing and expelling some amazing wind between us. I’m putting it down to a heady concoction of cheese (brie), peanut butter, honey, nuts and crackers. We seem to take it in turns and I have now tried to ensure I am a good 5 metres behind Chris to minimise my exposure.
Stopped for lunch at a deserted farm house (or was it deserted as we saw signs of recent habitation including plates, cutlery and an onion on the table!) The farm belonged to Jim Burrton who tragically died in 1941 whilst crossing his suspension bridge.
The trail is named after him as it was Jim who cut the path. Whilst breaking wind there I felt the need for something more substantive and went into the bush with loo roll in hand where I miraculously found a “short drop” made from an old barrel and with its own integral toilet seat. So much more civilised.
Our pace was pretty slow and steady but we managed to get about 23km under our tightened belts within the ten hours we spent on the trail, we are about 6km short of where intended but that’s OK as we only need to do about 18km of the TA route tomorrow before we divert to Levin for resupplying and hopefully we can hitch a lift to town (in theory otherwise its another 8km)
Came across some huge and sweet blackberries which we consumed with much gusto, amazingly these blackberries were somehow converted to loud raspberries within minutes!
We’ve also had some wind production enhancers for tea (couscous laced with dried vegetables, and dried mince followed by dark chocolate) so with our snoring mixed in it should be a pretty loud forest tonight! Goodnight, oops, pardon me!.