Te Kuiti to Middle of Nowhere Mangaokewa – 20km – (890km total)
The lovely Emma from the backpackers we camped at dropped us back into town in the morning. As I walked out of town a bakery was open and that required a second breakfast to be had. One last treat before 5 days with no shops.
Te Kuiti was a cute little town. Then the day was spent walking along the Mangaokewa River. The first 5km were really nice trail. It had been set up as a place for locals to walk and picnic at. Then the trail became less well groomed. The app used to navigate the trail allows users to make comments for others to read. Here is a selection regarding this part of the trail,
‘The track south of here is crap’
‘An absolute nightmare’
‘An absolute ordeal’
‘One of the worst tracks I have ever walked on’
It actually wasn’t that bad. However, I understand those comments if it had been raining. The track at times was very thin, washed away and sloped straight down towards the river. So if it had been raining I would understand how you would not be able to grip and would fear slipping down the embankment towards the river.
Having said that I did lose the track several times today and climbed a hill I didn’t need to. I also literally crawled up a very steep hill because I couldn’t find the track and it was only once at the top that the markers became visible. My legs also look like I got into a fight with a very large kitty cat and came off second best, due to walking through blackberry bushes for half the day. However, these are all part of the Te Araroa, as my friends would say ‘C’est la via’ – It is life. It is the Te Araroa.
Due to the track conditions the plan was for a short day today. We got into camp around 4pm and had plenty of time to make our food bag lighter and play cards at the shelter that a farmer had set up.
Today I am thankful for card games.