Thursday, 1 January 2015

Day 56. Palmerston North to Burtons Track.

Today 29 km trail + 2.5 non trail. Total 1499 km (+12). 7 hours 30 minutes (1030-1800).

I made the most of the great shower before finishing packing and leaving at 0730. I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast and stayed there an hour and a half to update my blog.  I then went to Countdown supermarket but they didn't have everything I wanted so I also went to Pak n save. Now fully loaded I walked back to the Fitzherbert Bridge,  via a service station for an ice cream.

I was back on the trail at 1030. once across the Bridge the trail headed to the university (where I got my bachelors and masters). It then followed the Turitea Walkway for 3 km.  This was a nice easy trail through bush,  forest and farmland.

Fitzherbert Bridge

Turitea Walkway

Great rubbish bin with Palmerston North theme

Turitea Walkway

There was then 2.5 km road walking before turning into a Green Corridor which was a lovely grass track beside, and over (3 times) a steam. I liked this trail but I imagine many people road walk around it because they don't want to get wet feet which is a shame as it is a nice track.

This is what a shorn Alpaca looks like - very funny (on left)

The first of the stream crossings

Green corridor

Third Stream crossing

Very cute Alpaca

Final bit of Green Corridor

Next was a short sealed road which turned to gravel road and then a single track gravel path which is popular with mountain bikers.  This was in bush for 2.5 km before coming into the open just before linking back to a gravel road.

It was then sealed and gravel road walking for 9.5 km to the end of Kahuterawa Rd. The last few km were pretty as we followed the stream.  Unfortunately during this section I had christmas carols stuck in my head. It was only two of them and everytime I was not consciously thinking of something they would sneak back to the front of my mind. The two that were stuck were 'Santas Coming to Town' and 'Rudolf the Red Nosed Raindeer'. Unfortunately I only know some of the words so it got a bit repetitive and I started coming up with my own words.

View during road walk

From the end of the road the trail went on an old logging road which is now a popular mountain bike track. I had actually been on this track for the Army MTB champs several years ago, on a borrowed mountain bike that the gears were slipping and the brakes the old V Brakes which are hard to get used to after having used disc brakes for a while. I think this was a set up from the Linton team to stop my Southern Team taking out the competition. There were a few steams but I was able to rock hop all of them keeping my feet dry  At the last one I filled my water bottles ready for camping.

Start of mountain bike track

Track up to Scotts Road

More track

Weta on the trail

At the end of the track I followed Scotts Road for nearly two km then turned left and in 50 meters was at the start of Burtons Track.

Very impressive sign at Scotts Road junction

Bridge crossing into forest

I was a little unsure here as the notes say daylight access only but I was not sure which part of the track this restriction applied to.  The first part was forestry,  then DOC land, then private farmland and then DOC again. I figured the restriction wouldn't apply to the DOC land so I figured I would camp once across the boundary.

Unfortunately the forest had been logged and there were only baby pine trees so there was no shade. The gravel road followed the stream then headed up a small hill.  Once back down I spotted 4 familiar tents at the junction and it was Team USA and France.  I stopped to talk and got my first,  and likely only,  Christmas present - a candy cane.

Forest Road

I continued on a few km and set up camp near the boundary,  but I couldn't resist my favourite camping location under pine trees so I was not quite across the boundary.  It was the magic toadstool that weakened my resolve.  Who could resist camping next to this beautiful toadstool.

Beautiful Toadstool

Night 56

I stopped walking at 1800 which seemed really early given my late finishes but is back to my former Wanganui River routine.  With my late start it was a short day which is probably a good idea with new shoes though they were great.  I noticed how much lighter they are.  I had no trouble with my shin today and was able to walk full speed which I think is because the shoes are lighter which means my tendon is not having to lift as much and is not under strain.  I guess I will see.

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