Ramarama to Mercer – 29km (677km total)
It is not all sunshine, lollipops and unicorns on the Te Araroa and today was a day of blah bookended by sunshine and lollipops.
The sunshine of the morning was the continuing hospitality of Brent and Suzanne as I had a cup of tea and a lovely breakfast with them. Then the blah started. I always feel a bit lethargic after a big day and today was no different. It didn’t help that the morning started with an immediate climb up on roads.
I was on roads for the whole morning, which is never fun, if they are heavy to medium trafficked which they were. I stopped often to rest in some very unappealing spots on the side of the road.
After my lunch break came a 3km walk along state highway 2, which was not fun. While there was plenty of shoulder to walk on. It sucks to walk on a road with cars and semis zooming past. The track then turned off onto a stop bank by a river. A built up piece of land to stop flooding. Which sounds great, but the grass was very long and the ground uneven, so every step was either slow or you were in danger of rolling an ankle.
Finally, I made it to Mercer where free camping is offered at the local pub. This was the sunshine at the end of they day. I set up my tent and had a shower, before heading into the pub for a drink and pizza.
Today I am thankful for pubs, cider and pizza.