Yesterday was literally one of the most painful days on my feet I’ve ever experienced. I thought I’d walked at least 30km, but my app sadly told me I only went 25 while it felt like 40! Leaving camp I travelled a few kms along a 4WD track until I descended into the Mangapukahukahu Gorge and found myself walking for 3km down the river. It was absolutely delightful after I was sure I was on the right path!
Best lunch spot on the trail at km 183.
Following the river section there was a very sketchy track along the Waipapa River, which was heavily eroded and downright dangerous at times. The comments on my Guthooks app said taking the river would perhaps be safer, but also that it could be waist deep so I stuck to the trail instead.
It was then up, up and up out of the gorge on one of the steepest tracks imaginable, then once at the top I had the chance to dry out my feet before another 9kms of rock-hard 4WD track.
I was in agony when I went to bed, and when I woke up this morning I had another 24km left to make it to town. If you watched the video from my last post about the farmland you know how my day kicked off, and sadly after a good giggle at myself my right ankle started giving me grief and I started limping through the next paddock. I ended up wrapping my wrist brace around it for a bit of additional support, but I’m zeroing in Kerikeri to give my whole body and mind time to recover.
My wet feet after the horrific farmland.
I cried a lot today, like a child really. I’d convinced myself I would be able make it to town if I swam in the Kerikeri River, and then when I expected to be able to access the river it was too steep to get down. At that point I lost it and burst into hysterics, stamping my feet and yelling, “but I wanted to swim!” I also cursed the incredibly overgrown section along the river that gave me all kinds of allergies, but then right at the end before town, the trail showed it’s charm and seduced me into appreciating it again!
It actually got worse after I took this pic.
It’s amazing what a boost arriving in town and meeting some nice friendly locals can do! Thanks to Peter for the ride into town, the lovely woman at the holiday park reception whose name starts with a ‘B’ for the encouraging chat, and to Andy and his kids Frank and Lucile for keeping me company on the neighbouring tent space! 🙂
My hiking pole broke already!
Kerikeri Holiday Park