Rangiriri to Hakarimata Summit – 31km (734 total)
The day started with a stopbank walk from Rangiriri to Huntly, however, I missed the stile to get onto the stopbank and I could have walked the 200m back to find it but I just continued to walk adjacent to it on the road. It was a good decision, as I briefly got back onto it when it intersected with the road and the 1km I spent on it was long wet grass. Argh, I’ll take a road walk over long wet grass.
In Huntly, I got the essentials. Coke, an ice cream and water! 😉 I was planning on camping in the forest at the summit tonight and there would be no water, so I needed to make sure I had enough water for the walk and dinner at night.
I got the first 20km done by 1pm. I was hoping that would be enough time to do the last 10km, because it was a climb up into a forest and the timing was predicted to be about 6-7 hours. The rain continued on and off during the afternoon, which does not worry me with my trusty umbrella. However, the umbrella cannot protect me from wet overgrowth and I was soon wet as I battled my way through an overgrown trail of ferns and brush.
Despite getting wet. I did enjoy the afternoon. It was nice to be back in a forest and off of roads and stopbanks with their long grass. I enjoyed the challenge of climbing and finding my way through mud and over roots. Crazy, I know. I will probably be hating it again real soon, but for now it was great. I made good time, making it to the summit by 6pm and set about getting changed into warm, dry clothes and cooking my dinner, while I waited for the hoards of walkers who come up to the lookout at the summit as exercise to stop coming up, so that I could set up my tent.
Today I am thankful for a dry tent and clothes.