When walking through the village of Owhango we met Karen from the Love Shack B&B who offered us a cupa and showed us her lovely collection of animals which included a very cute pig, a goat and a calf all of which were very tame and liked to be pampered. We walked on and about 8 kms later down a dirt track I realised that I had left my walking poles behind!! They have proved to be a real asset and my knee has held up brilliantly so I knew I would have to go back and get them. There was no phone reception so I began walking back leaving Madeleine in the bush to camp promising her that I would be back in the morning. Luck was with me and I had reception within a kilometer and Karen offered to drive the track in her van to deliver the poles to me – Thank you Karen!
The Traverse we had been told was a popular track with quad bikes and we walked its length and only saw one – so it was a peaceful route as we headed towards the Tongariro Crossing.
Towards the second day we caught glimpses of the volcanoes which occasionally peeped through the clouds. As our route became narrower we encountered pampus grass that cut our legs as we passed.
|Blood and stinky puddles|
Wet feet are a feature of the Te Araroa that I had not anticipated encountering as often as I have. Without doubt we have had more wet feet days than dry feet days. Meaning that on most days you get to tip the water out of your boots and wring the water out of your socks – lovely! On the Traverse 42 we had a number of stream crossings where the water was over the top or our boots and in the final section some very interesting huge, stinky mud muddles we had to wade through.