I was woken at 0530 by the noisy birds by went back to sleep to be woken again by a farmer rounding up cows. I snoozed until 0830 then read for a while. I didn't want to get to Whakahoro before the cafe was open which I assumed would be at 10.
At 1000 I started packing up and in record time was on the road at 1030. I took out really easy and there were no complaints from my shin.
I arrived at Whakahoro and went straight to the Blue Duck Cafe for a lovely Toasted Sandwich, smoothie and chocolate brownie.
I talked to one the farm workers and a few tourists then started sorting my photos and updating my blog. Someone who turned up said there were 4 trampers on the road and I wondered if it was the four guys I had met in National Park Village. I had soup for lunch and was just finishing up on my blog when the four guys turned up. It was Joey, Geoff, Julein and Romain (follow them on their blog http://geoffandjoey.tumblr.com). They had not been able to get a ride to the start of the Tongariro Crossing in time so they switched to plan b and started walking to Whakahoro to do the Wanganui River. After the river they would head back up and do the Tongariro Crossing. I was happy they had made it and would be doing the River Canoe with me, I was now in for a fun trip.
We just hung out for the rest of the afternoon at the cafe. The staff there were great and it was a very relaxing time. Maggie the cafe manager let the guys pitch their tents in the lawn for free which was great. She ask also packaged up some lasagna and salad for me to heat up at my lodge later.
In the early evening I headed to the lodge to see my room. I set my groundsheet up outside to dry and washed some clothes before eating dinner which was really good.
I headed back to the cafe to hand out with the guys until 2100 then back to the lodge. The other lodge occupants had turned up. They were the hunters from Taupo who were really friendly. They had been told what I was up to and wanted to ask some questions so I sat down and talked with them while they plied me with some fantastic port, chips, Venison stew, more port, chocolate and even more port. They were very entertaining and it was a fun evening. I went to bed just before midnight which for a hiker is very late.