Day 32. The Wrong Side of the Fence & Sister Love. December 4, 2015.
Farm road at km 870 to Waitomo km 897.
About 50 ft from where I camped I found water dripping from the rocks on the side of the hill. It sure would have been nice to know about this last night when I had very little water. It was nice to solve my water problem first thing.
Not much later I walked up to Nathan with his tarp still set up. He has a young German, Nils, with him who is excited to learn about thruhiking. Today is Nils’ 19th birthday! I kept going and soon got a bit confused about which track to follow and the gps wasn’t helping much. I backtracked and tried another choice and that one got me back to the orange triangles and then the gps was in sync also.
Some easy farm walking and road walking followed and then somewhere around km 877 I was on another farm track. Most of this was along the fence line which followed all hills to their tops. The footing was uneven and there was plenty of overgrown bush for much of it. There were obvious signs of brush clearing so it could have been worse. But the frustrating thing was that almost continuously I could see a nice farm road just on the other side of the fence that went the same way but didn’t go to the top of everything. I am very grateful of the private property owners giving us access across their property. But I wonder if they were even asked for access to their roads also.
Jane has a sister who lives just outside of Waitomo so when I got to town I phoned her. Once again I was whisked off to another wonderful experience. Clare and Dave are organic dairy farmers and were delightful to talk to. I got clean and they fed me. Waitomo is famous for its glowworm caves. I had thought about stopping and seeing them but when I passed 5 parked tour busses I knew I wouldn’t like it. Clare and Dave took me to the Mangapohue Natural Bridge which is DOC owned but is surrounded by their dairy farm. Only one couple was there. It was a perfect and very special way to see the glowworms.
I have been asked for more info about the glowworms. Dave and Clare said they were very difficult to photograph so I didn’t even try with my phone camera. They look like little shining white lights. I picked one up. It was a little worm about a centimeter long and felt like snot. Touching one was enough.
a lot of negotiation went into getting private land owners permission to run the trails. I”m not sure about why the track doesnt follow the farm roads, quite possible the land owners stipulated where the track went. sometimes private land changes hands and all access to that land is lost and the trail has to be renegotiated or rerouted… less of a problem in the south island where its more on public land, but half the reason the track snakes around so much in the north island is about having permission to cross private land.
It must have been a tremendous amount of work. I am also aware it can change anytime. I am not hopping the fences because I don’t want to be “that person.”
But wait you’re going to leave us hanging with no pictures of these worms?
I updated my post
Glowworms, cool! How big are they? Tell us more! 🙂
I updated my post.