Day 50. Rainy Zero. December 22, 2015.

Day 50. Rainy Zero. December 22, 2015.

The weather forecast says this front should move thru tonight. Then clear weather for 4 days. Or at least clearer. We are entering the Tararua Mountains which are known for their beauty, above treeline views, difficulty and quickly changeable weather. There are huts every 4 to 5 hours. It should be interesting to see how my pace compares to that estimate. So far I’ve been slower, faster and equal to the DOC times. And the recent rains should assure lots of slippery mud.

The great thing about taking a zero today is that it will make us spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the mountains. Perfect.

I spent the day in the town of Levin… resupply and library almost catching up on my blog.

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We moved one km down the road to the Makahika Outdoor Pursuits Centre. They have rope skills courses, orienteering and adventure racing training plus leadership skills courses. There are no classes now because of the Christmas holiday so there is lots of room for TA hikers. They have a lodge with 40 plus bunks, full kitchen, lots of toilets and showers, laundry. Everything a hiker needs except Internet and cell service. TA hikers get all that for donation only. And I have my own 6 bed room. Charlie from UK is here as well as German section hiker Elke. Elke (68) is older than me…. a first on this trail.

It’s 10:30pm and still raining hard outside. There will be plenty of mud.

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I took this picture of the Makahika Lodge as I was leaving the next morning. Look at that glorious blue sky!

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