It rained a couple of times in the night and I was woken up at the light of dawn. The chickens cock-a-doodling was like an alarm clock. I had a cup of coffee when Les got us some hot tea, toast with butter and an amazing strawberry jam and then a bowl of fresh fruits with yoghurt. Carol got us a bunch of hard boiled eggs for the trail too! My gosh, we don’t really have any words to thank them for their hospitality! Thanks Carol and Les if you are reading this. You really made our day.

The tramp today led us thro some quiet forest roads. The weather held up great in the morning and I felt really nice hiking up with the usual breaks in between.

What we didn’t count on was the climbs that came along. It was hard work but the route was good and that made up for the hard work. The later part of the day would turn out hot an sunny and we had a real work out, sweating buckets on the trail. Probably the first time I sweated so much since I started.

We had lunch at the summit and in an instant the track Got into the bush again. Duh. But it wasn’t too long and we got on to another road. The Te Araroa sign leading to the next track was really tiny and all of us missed it. But luckily, I was checking the GPS and we didn’t stray too far and got on to the farm lands for another 5 km of ridge walking.

After that we got to some fast roads that was to take us to Puhoi. After a couple of km, we got a hitch and the girls rode down to the puhoi pub with the bags and myself and Phil walked down. It’s speedy work without the packs.

The next bit on the track was a kayak down the Puhoi river. Phil and Em had already done this bit before and they had gotten their friend, Evan, to meet them at puhoi.

So me and Kelsey took the kayaks down the river. It was a nice change of pace, but the kayak was a bit too small for me I reckon and I got some bad back pain after half way. Well, all things happen in the Te Araroa and I had to grit and paddle my way down. I even beached at some point and had to get off and push the boat into the deeper waters.

Phil was nice and he set up our tents at the DOC campsite! We met Evan there and after 25 days, Phil and Em are on their last day of tramping before Christmas! It has been wonderful tramping with the duo and it has made the journey really memorable.

It’s not good byes yet as we will catch up a bit over the Christmas period again. But we are now tramping on different schedules. I guess it’s me and Kelsey now to walk into Auckland.

It’s been a long day with yet another set of different terrains thrown at us by Te Araroa! Well, every day is different and that keeps the trail interesting!

Distance: 22km walk, 8 km Kayak.
Ascent: 1800 ft.

Track Notes