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.