Te Araroa – Day 35

Hakarimata Summit to Hamilton – 23km (757km)

I’ve officially done one quarter of the trail, which is pretty exciting.

Knowing that the track up to Hakarimata Summit was a popular walking track for people exercising from Ngaruawahia. I set my alarm for 5am, so that I could be packed up before the hoards started coming up. It was a good idea, just before 6am as I was finishing my packing up, the first person came up and then a steady stream followed.

It wasn’t the best weather, but I still got treated to a pretty good sunrise and view of Ngaruawahia and Hamilton from up on the Summit.

Sunrise from the Summit

I had a goal for the day make it the 23km into Hamilton before 12pm, so that I could make it to the post office to pick up some packages. One of things I’d sent myself that I didn’t want to carry and one from friends back home that I’d asked them to send me. With 6 hours and a flat trail, I was pretty confident of this goal.

Rainbow over some of the hills I’d just come down

The trail started going down a lot of stairs and then along a creek through a rainforest before coming out in Ngaruawahia. It was beautiful. In Ngaruawahia I stopped at the bakery for breakfast and yes, a chai. From there the trail followed a pathed cycle way into Hamilton along the Waikato river for 19km.

As the trail got closer to Hamilton, it changed into a walkway and was really pretty along the river. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos as I discovered I would be cutting it close to get to the post office in time. So I started to jog part of the track, which is a challenge with a backpack on (it was more of a shuffle, imagine a turtle attempting to run upright on two legs and that is close to what I looked and felt like 😆 🐢)

I made it to the post office at 11.45am and collected my packages. I then checked into the backpackers where I was given a real towel and there was a hair dryer in the bathroom. Hiking really makes you appreciate the things you take for granted in real life. I never would have thought a month ago that a real size, thick towel would make me so happy.

Today, yes, you guessed it I am thankful for real towels.

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