Start: Mangamuka (154km)
Finish: Kerikeri (219km)
Distance for the day: (65km)
Cumulative distance: (221km)
Cumulative moving time: 32hrs 05mins
I’m quickly learning that Te Araora has plenty of surprises in store. You can’t take anything for granted; a seemingly innocuous section of trail read from the map can easily turn into a 5km/hr slog. My final section today was a classic example. The low level pasture and newly formed link tracks leading into my final destination of Kerikeri were well rutted and baked hard; not the best for sore, wet, feet! A tough end to the day….
|Heading off into the forest once again|
|Still fresh - must have been early in the day|
Anyway, it was another great day on the trail. I enjoyed the first 20km of road and forestry tracks with Mark alongside on the bike – great for morale. The middle 20km was back into the thick jungle-like forests, and an incredible 7km wade through the beds of the Mangapukahukahu Stream and Waipapa River – not something I’ve ever experienced. The valleys were steeply sided, so the only option was regularly criss-crossing the river to make use of the boulder banks alternating each side. The temptation to take a dip was great, but again I was on a tight schedule so I remained focused on the job in hand. The only downside was running with wet feet across the subsequent 10km Pukatea Ridge Track section, although it was a lovely trail and nicely graded.
|Nice place for a lunch stop :o)|
Thereafter it was 25km on low level forest tracks and pastures to the east coast town of Kerikeri. My first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean on the run on the descent into Kerikeri gave me a great lift; I now have a long, mostly coastal, section back down to Auckland. We’ll see what that has in store!
Now fed and watered by my awesome crew, it’s time to crash and get some well earned Zzzzz’s and get ready to go again tomorrow.