Day 6. Raetea Forest…. Oh, The Mud! 11/8/15
33.5K. Kilometer 140 to 173.5
It’s baptism by fire out here. Te Araroa doesn’t break you in gently. It’s steep, slippery, and full of roots. Today was even harder than yesterday. I hiked 9 km in 5 hours! And the amount of energy expended per step is huge. And I keep thinking of all the hikers I have seen with HUGE packs. I’m sure they used Wild as an example of how to pack.
I climbed up quite a few peaks today but it was too overgrown so there were few views. It’s like the AT.
And did i say there was mud, mud and more mud. I fell several times. But when I caught up to Jackson and Brett they said I looked pretty clean. Ha.
But despite all that it was kind of fun. What would it be like in the rain? Horrors.
A goal today was to get to the Mangamuka Dairy before it closed at 3pm. I got there at 3:15 and it was still open! If the owners know another hiker is on the way they stay open.
I had an egg and bacon burger…. the egg is the burger and bacon here is kind of like ham with lots of fat! It was delicious. I sure am eating a lot of eggs here. My appetite is far above what it has been on any other hike this early in the game. It was a real energy depleting last 2 days. Hopefully, what I have heard is true…. these Northland forests are some of the hardest hiking until we get much farther south. Or maybe I will just get used to it.
Now I understand why Kiwis call this tramping. It’s not really hiking. It’s completely different.
I am camped at Apple Tree campsite. 4 new to me hikers were already here. Nathan (Chaos), Brett and Jackson are also camped here. It continues to amaze me how many hikers I am seeing. Most seem to be Europeans doing their first long hike. And most have huge packs. I wish them luck.
At sunset Nathan and I walked an extra couple kilometers to the Kauri Sanctuary at the end of the road. The trees have huge trunks and the branches start really high up.
I should have taken more photos today. I think I was just too humbled over going 1 km per hour. And I was tired.