Te Araroa – Day 45

Naherenga Campsite to Piropiro Campsite 🏕 – 37km (967km total)

What a difference twenty four hours makes. Whereas yesterday was one of the most boring days on trail, today was one of the best.

Last night was New Years, but like the hikers we are, we were tucked up in our tents by 8pm. However, I did wake up near midnight to the festivities of some of the car campers in the campsite, who were playing The Proclaimers “I would walk 500 Miles” which was rather apt. Although, I think I have walked over 500 Miles by this point.

The days walk was on the timber trail, which is an 84km trail designed as a cycle trail. This means that it is incredibly well graded. So even though the trail went up 500 meters, it did so over 10km, so didn’t feel at all strenuous. It was also a well maintained trail, which means no mud and no roots! Walking today was a dream.

Look at that trail! Or more to the point, look at the lack of roots and mud!

The trail meandered through native forest, cut pine and over many rivers and bridges.

One of the many suspension bridges over the deep river gorges along the trail

As I was walking, I was day dreaming of the real food I would eventually get once I got to town in a few days. But, Christmas came again. Near our campsite was a lodge, which is set up for cyclists to stay at. It is expensive to stay at, but they do have a bar and a kitchen open to all. So at the end of the day, we were able to collapse onto the lodges balcony with coke, beer, ciders and a pizza. Pizza that had fresh vegetables and cheese on it. I was in heaven.

Pizza, so good.

If you think I talk about food a lot. You would be correct. Hikers can only carry so much in their pack and I’ve worked out that I probably burn around 1000 more calories each day then I take in while hiking. Hence, it is so exciting when there are opportunities like today and in town to make up for those missing calories.

I chatted to some of the bikers at the lodge who were amazed that we were walking what they were doing on a bike in the same amount of time. Although to be fair, they start later in the morning and get into camp earlier than us, but we are covering the same distance in a day while on the Timber Trail.

After the lodge it was a short 1km hike to the campground which was full of families out enjoying the Christmas/New Year Break. As we were sitting around cooking dinner, a car camper came and offered us meat from his BBQ (my Mum would be proud, I actually ate red meat (I’m usually a white meat or no meat person)). Then later he came and gave us a packet of chips and biscuits. It was like Christmas on New Year’s Day.

Camp, where we got more free food.

Also, I think I mentioned this yesterday, but the toilets along the Timber Trail smell amazing. I don’t know how they do it.

Today I am thankful for a well maintained, well graded trail and the kindness of strangers.

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