Oh no! I’ve left you guys back in Waitomo, whilst I’ve been enjoying Pureora Forest.
In fact, I’ve even gone across the 42 Traverse without telling you anything!
Alright then, time for a quick catch-up.
Going through to Te Kuiti was very hilly (in typical King Country stye), with some serious slippery mud at the start. I did make it through in one piece thankfully, managing to get in before the cafe closed.
Resupplied, then met up with the local group leader (despite the group being in recess) for dinner, and a nights accommodation in the Scout hall.
Next day was very rough… Some serious rain had passed in the night, and it was still going in showers the next day. Which made an already (infamously) treacherous track even more dangerous.
Lots of traversing along steep slopes, with barely enough room for even one foot at some points. Not going to lie, I did concern for my safety at points.
Thankfully I made it through alive, just as the last shower had passed and the sun was breaking out.
Camped just off the side of the road for the night. Little had I known, just a couple kms down the road a German man named Tim (who I had met briefly before) had been camping. So I caught up to him in the morning and we teamed up to take on the road section from Mangaokewa Valley to the campsite at Pureora (township).
He set of early the next morning, whilst I hung around until 9 o’clock, letting things dry from the dew overnight, so I didn’t see him again through the forest.
Climbed to the top of Mt Pureora, where I enjoyed panoramic views including Lake Taupo (which didn’t come out well in photo) and Mt Ruapehu (which was hiding behind the only cloud in the sky…).
Down the hill from there on a very gradual slope to get to Bog Inn Hut. Whilst it did have a bog, sadly it was missing the Inn. Though it was a lovely little hut, and it did well for the night.
The next day saw me walking through some beautiful bush, with huge Rimu, Totara, Matai, and other native Podocarps, which thankfully remain untouched by logging.
The track itself taking me from Bog Inn to Waihaha, where I shared the hut with an American man who’s came to New Zealand to do his PhD and isn’t thinking of heading back any time soon.
In fact, just a couple of Kilometres before the hut there was an arrangement of silver fern fronds which seemed to be spelling some kind of message… 1000? Oh, that’s right. This was the 1000km mark for the whole trail, meaning I am now over 1 third of the way to Bluff… Very tempting, just keep going, complete it all in one hit. But alas, life gets in the way and I must stop in Wellington.
Regardless, I pushed on to Hauhungaroa hut the next day, making it there by lunchtime. I even managed to find a spot of signal where I could look at the weather forecast and decide that… I’d rather be under a solid roof for the night.
So I busied myself for the afternoon; had a good fire going for the evening and set off early the next morning to get to Taumarunui.
Now, I know the sign says “26kms”, but I had to get out of the bush, including wading through near knee-deep water, and down a road (where I had to climb over an iron gate that was taller than me). That all up was about 11kms, meaning I did 37kms in one day. No wonder I was too exhausted to bother with dinner, let alone write a blog post to update you guys on my not-so-rambly Ramble (honestly thought I’d be off topic more than I am when I started this).
Now I did say that I had already traversed the 42 Traverse, which is south of Taumarunui, so how did I manage that?
Well I started with a short day of road walking from my Taumarunui accommodation, through Owhango to the Dominion Road carpark just at the start of the 42 Traverse. With a quick pace I managed to get through to SH47 and down the road towards the northern end of the Tongariro crossing the next day. That said though I’m not sure that I’ll be able to actually do the crossing due to severe weather for the next few days. So I may have to bring my continuous line down the side, past the mountain and come do the crossing in a separate trip. I was looking forward to it too!