Twig Adventures

Day 39: Full of surprises

January 10th Taumarunui (km1076)-Mako stream 42 traverse (km1112) Mileage: 22.3mi/36km As promised, Glen of Blazing Paddles met us early at the holiday park and drove us into town. I got some cash to pay him for the trip and we discussed what boats we could use. He said he has some looksha sea kayaks, which I hope is the case. He dropped us off at the beginning of the road walk out of town. It was nice to have some company again and the country road was one of the most pleasant I’ve hiked, even if it was drizzling. We passed a beautiful Clydesdale stallion, who was very freindly and not even afraid of my umbrella. Then we came upon[…]

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Day 38: Taumarunui zero

January 9th Taumarunui (km1075) Mileage: just walking the town I was up very early to take a stab at my long list of chores. First was some blog posts, laundry, locating and patching the hole on my pillow, and general gear clean-up. I was also trying to figure out my time-line in order to book the kayak. There are so many details and different permutations. I read a lot of blogs and came up with a schedule. Two days to get to the start of the Tongariro crossing, 1 day for that, then another 2 to get to the starting point for the river section, paddling by Monday. Whew. I called a couple operators and the first I talked to[…]

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Day 37: Cheers for the TT

January 8th #10 campsite (km1032)- near Taumarunui (km1069) Mileage: 23mi/37km After the long day yesterday, I got a slower-than-usual start at 8:30 am. The day was brilliant and I was in a fantastic mood. I quickly came to yet another awe-inspiring swingbridge. Then there was the Ongarue spiral. It sounds complicated but the signage explained it well. It’s just a big loop built to ease the gradient of the train track where there was a cliff. The tunnel and bridge were restored so that pedestrians can now enjoy passing through. It’s a pretry neat historical relic, made even better by the informational displays In the tunnel, I met the first person of the day, a guy doing the Cape to[…]

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Day 36: On Easy Street to 1000 kms

January 7th Bogg Inn hut (km988)- #10 campsite (km1032) Mileage: 27.3mi/44km My biggest day yet! I was shooting for this, knowing that the trail would be easy and packing made all the faster by staying in the hut last night. It was raining again in the morning but I felt fairly confident it would burn off by mid-day. And it did. Still, it’s never easy to leave the protection of a roof over your head and go out into the wet. This rainy weather is much more like the NZ I expected. The first month made me spoiled, though. It was a short hike from the hut back to the main route. Then I came to the first of several[…]

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Day 35: Back on track

January 6th Mangaokewa rd/SH 30 junction (km958)-Bogg Inn hut (km988) Mileage: 18.6mi/30km I was so ready to get back to walking this morning! But first I had to get back to where I had left off. It wasn’t really feasible to find a ride to the remote road where I finished the river track 2 days ago, so I was just shooting for the start of the Timber Trial off SH 30. Don gave Steffen and me a ride to the end of town. Just as soon as we got there, it started raining again. What luck. It’s really hard getting a ride when it’s raining. There were also almost no cars on the road on an early Saturday morning.[…]

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Day 34: batten down the hatches

January 5th Te Kuiti (km913) Mileage: none They weren’t kidding about the winds.  They definitely felt like tropical storm force winds. Not good when you’re trying to sleep in a tent. I had a rough night. At first it was just rain and normal wind. I stayed nice and dry but had anxiety over what might happen if the winds picked up. I drifted in and out of sleep, waking to my tent shaking in the stronger and stronger gusts. There were no trees directly above me…but neither were there any above Mike the night he got clobbered. Around 4:30 am, I heard something near Don’s house go flying. It was probably the moment that his chicken coop got blown[…]

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Day 33: A zero for weather

January 4th Te Kuiti (km913) Mileage: none So basically a tropical storm is forecasted to hit the north island today and tomorrow. Rain is one thing but forecasted 100 kmh winds are a showstopper. I knew there would be a price to pay for a month of good weather. The timing could be much worse, since I’ve got a good place to stay holed up and no major time commitments. The morning started out quite fair, making me antsy about not hiking. But it started raining by noon. Don (Dad) took us TA kids grocery shopping in town. He joked that we weren’t allowed to get any treats. Fat chance, I bought a ton of chocolate and candy. In case[…]

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Day 32: Slacking along the river

January 3rd Te Kuiti (km913)-Mangaokewa rd. (Km943) Mileage: 18.6mi/30km Nancy Hike’s blog gave me the idea of staying an extra night at the backpacker and slack-packing the Mangaokewa river gorge section. This is the term for when a backpacker ditches their full pack to do a section with just a day pack. In my case, I still hiked with my same pack, just not the rest of my gear. I left my tent pitched, which meant I only had use of one trekking pole. Without any weight in my pack, one pole was sufficient…even for the billy-goat trail I was about to do. I also carried water/filter, day food, PLB, rain gear, and my umbrella. Don dropped me off at[…]

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Day 31: Trials on the trail

January 2nd Orongo rd. (km880.5)–Te Kuiti (km913) Mileage: 20.5mi/33km Today felt like a much tougher day than the distance would suggest. Probably because it was almost all bush and farm track, with only about 4 kms of road walking. My watch also said I did 23 miles, so I wonder if the published distances are off. First, it was tough just to make a decision as to how to proceed. There was a stream crossing that the notes warned should not be done in heavy rain. It rained pretty constantly overnight and was pouring when I woke up. I looked at the map and decided I should do a long road walk, like 20 kms, just to be on the[…]

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Day 30: A classic TA day

January 1st Pahautea hut, Mt. Pirongia (km848.5)-Orongo rd. (km880.5) Mileage: 20mi/32km I listened to light rain falling on my tent all night, so I knew it was going to be a fun day. The forecasted wet weather had come about half a day early. Given the late night, I tried to sleep in but only managed about an hour and a half more. Most hikers had left before me, which is not usually the case. The first km was on an awesome boardwalk to a lookout at the top of a cone-shaped peak. The clouds had opened up enough that we could catch glimpses of the west coast bays. Hihikiwi mountain summit Looking back towards the summit and hut. The[…]

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