22nd December

32.7km

Bushcamp 1493.4km to Makahika Outdoor Centre 1526.1km

I lay awake for most of the night. Strong wind tried it’s best to flatten my tent while persistent flooding rain hit the tent with such ferocity the noise made sleep impossible, even with earplugs. I’m not sure how long I was awake, several hours at least.

My backpack is stuffed full of enough food to sit out bad weather in the mountains if needed. The wet tent didn’t help the weight of my pack when I set off into the morning sun. Clouds would come and go as the rays of morning sun did it’s best to warm the cool air.

The trail entered dense forest that slowed my travel. Every shade of green existed in this forest. Many cascading streams flowed onto the trail. The sound of the flowing water and bird calls could be recorded and sold as relaxation music. I was relaxed and in a good mood despite the couple of falls I’d taken on the slippery mud.

I could hear the river before I had to cross it. The normally clear water had a slight tinge of brown. No doubt from the heavy rain. I’m not sure that this stream is always so strong. I unfastened my hip belt and sternum strap and crossed the crotch deep flowing stream. Why did I not take any photo or video, I thought to myself much later.

After several hours of the peaceful sounds of nature I popped in my earbuds to listen to an audiobook. But it wasn’t long before I bumped into Paul and Kathy from England. We’d met on numerous occasions and camped in the same place several times. We caught up on each others trail gossip and hiked together for the afternoon. But it wasn’t too long before I realised I lost my mini tripod and mount. No more good photos or video. Oh well, these things happen.

With the sun sinking low in the sky the three of us entered the friendly Makahika outdoor centre. Beers were thrust into our eager hands along with several fresh bread rolls, butter and a bottle of white wine. The open generosity of Kiwis. How on earth can I pay things forward in the future.

For those of you that live vicariously through my travels, would you like me to send you a postcard from New Zealand? I have set up a Patreon site with various levels of support. For those that would like to help out with my journey, I can give something in return. Thank you in advance. https://www.patreon.com/bikehikesafari


You might like to read:

Complete Te Araroa Trail
Te Araroa Trail Gear List
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

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