Mud, glorious mud

Hamilton 759km to Te Kuiti 872km (day 48-53)

After a long weekend break, for a fantastic family gathering, we were refreshed and actually rearing to get back on the trail. We knew it was a meaty section through the farms and forests of the Waikato, for 6 days.

It had everything! From the cycleways of Hamilton, to the mud staircases in Pirongia Forest Park. Sweltering midday temperatures, to thunder, lightening and hail. A campsite in a pub, to a birdsong and a babbling brook field. From the highs of magnificent mountaintop views, to the slog of gravel roadways. From tent solitude, to a crowded hut.

It had it all, and it took it all too. The days were just a bit too long. The mud pushed us to the limit. The tree roots and mud made concentrating for hours vital. It’s the T.A, and it demands everything from you, and then some. In return, we have seen and lived through some amazing stuff. Views and forests that are impossible to describe or ‘capture’. Moments of bliss, when you reach a magic spot and stop for entirely delicious scroggin. Yes, the highs more than outweigh the lows.

Ah, Kaniwhaiwha stream cooloff
Yet another summit in Pirongia