Mt Lee Reserve to Palmerston North – 36km (1465km total)
36km of road walking in a day sounds easy in theory, but not when you have already done a 35km and 40km day back to back of road walking. Today was a killer.
I left in the morning with the allure of Fielding in 11km. New Zealand’s most beautiful town. It has won this prestigious title 16 times. It was a nice clean town, but I’m not sure beautiful is the right word to describe it. But the cafe was good. It was then another 9km to the next town of Bonnythorpe, which if this town is Fielding’s only competition in the beautiful stakes then it is easy to see why Fielding wins. Bonnythorpe had nothing. The one food shop was closed and it was to the dairy, which was half empty to get sustenance to sustain me into Palmerston North.
There was 15km to go at this point and I decided I could do it, if I stopped on the outskirts of Palmerston at the Countdown that had a bakery for another rest. I limped to that Countdown and pulled out my phone to see if Palmerston North had Uber. It doesn’t. If it did, I think I would have taken it. I was shattered. But with Uber off the table, I reasoned I could do the next 8km if I stopped every 2km, which is what I did. It took forever to do those 8km, but I got them done. Once at the Holiday Park I laid down on the tent site and didn’t move for ages.
A group who I met on my first night before starting the trail at Utea Park, who were on their third day at that point, were in Palmerston at the Holiday Park. It was good to catch up with them and hear about the last 2 months for them. The day into Palmerston had also shattered them and the girl actually had caught the bus into Palmerston from Bonnythorpe. We reasoned it was three days of road walking in the sun, coming off canoeing was not a good combination.
Tomorrow, I am not walking anywhere. I am taking a rest day and working out logistics for the next section.
Today I am thankful for rest stops.