We had a well earned rest day in the small town of Taumarunui but as ever there seemed lots to do so it hardly seemed like a rest at all. With washing to be done, tents to dry, maps to be printed lots of food to be eaten and planning for the next section rest is not really the right word. It was about 6pm by the time we had finally done all the chores that we needed to do including booking a canoe hire for the Wanaganui River.
The owner of the shop where we printed our maps invited us the the Taumarunui Club of which he is the president. He supplied us with burgers and drinks showed us rather different side to life of a small NZ town than we would normally see.
Emotionally Taumarunui was a low point in the trail for me. I felt as if I had been walking for ages and was making little progress. It seemed to me like the route was getting longer and longer or New Zealand's North Island was stretching. There was also the fact that at this point in the Te Araroa route the trail bears East and then turns back West on a very indirect route to enable trampers to pass over the famous Tongariro Crossing. Given the appalling weather that we were having if I had not know that Madeleine was so keen to walk the Crossing I would have considered another more direct route south. Feeling less than positive I believed that we were about to walk a long way in the hope of having great views and the chances of that were, at best, minimal.