Day 30. Girls’ School Camp. December 2, 2015
Hamilton km 802 to Kaniwhaniwha Campsite km 839
I woke up at 6 and took full advantage of being able to have wifi and french press coffee while propped up in my king size bed. I wasn’t in any hurry to leave. Lisa wants to experience something else in NZ besides mud, forests and farm tracks…. and trying to keep up with my mileage goals. She is meeting Jane to hike the Tongariro Circuit or Crossing…. weather permitting. It is a Great Walk for a reason.
On the way out of town I stopped to resupply at Countdown in Dinsdale. I also found a Bin Inn store which was more of a natural foods store.
At Countdown I met another TA hiker from Finland. She is hitching the road sections so I doubt I will see her again.
Today didn’t even have that much of busy roads to walk.
It was a great route. Quiet streets. Short sections of busy road. Coffee at a cafe in Whatawhata. There is another cafe across the street that is about to open.
Today had the best farm track of the trail so far. Wide open views. Great rocks. Gradual climbs on an old road bed. Most of it was was grazed by sheep which are better lawn mowers and don’t create big divots in the ground. The top of Mt Pirongia, where I am headed tomorrow, remained covered in clouds.
And then I met up with a bunch of 15 year old girls. Their walk today is part of a 4 day school camp…. tramping, surfing, rock climbing and more. They attend the same school Jane went to 45 years ago! I just loved their exuberance and energy. My encounter with them made my day. This is why I am hiking New Zealand. Random things like this can’t be planned. I sure wish my school had camps like this. I invited them to California. And they are more than welcome to join me for any portion of this walk.
I finally got to the DOC campsite at the base of Mt Pirongia. It’s nice. Toilets. Garbage cans. Picnic tables. Next to a creek. Clean. No one else is here.
At Bin Inn I found rice flakes that rehydrate with cold water in 30 minutes. All the ingredients made a delicious dinner. I hope I can find rice flakes again.