Friday, 2 January 2015

Day 61. Parawai Hut to Waikanae.

Today 30 km. Total 1606 km. 9 hours 10 minutes (0740-1650).

I was up and ready to go after a relaxed morning routine.  It is a different routine in a hut and it will take a little while to get this sorted.

I was the first one off at 0740. Once acrossthe swingbridge there was a 1.5 km road walk to warm up then onto Fence line Track which is a beautiful walking track thay zig zagged up the hill in the bush. I then turned off this onto Pukeatua Track which was a little narrower but still a great track and this continued climbing the hill. It was a steep climb but the gradient was perfect to climb quickly without those tiring step ups which are higher than can be done easily.

Once on the ridge it was a bit more open and I could see some lovely views though not where I was going as this was in the clouds.  The trail followed the ridge in the bush to Pukeatua (812m) and I loved this section flying through quickly. It was a well maintained open track where I could stretch out.  There were a few muddy bits but there were roots and logs to get over most of these and many were drying out.

A little more substantial bridge than normal

Fenceline track

Pukeatua Track

Some open bits

Some muddy bits

Climbing into the clouds

The summit

The summit was in mist so no views above the bushline.  I sat for a while as I had internet coverage to check the location of the house I would be staying at tonight with an old army friend who had offered to put me up in Waikanae. While I was sitting there 3 trail runners arrived and we talked about the track, TA and shoes.

I then continued and the track got even better making for a fast descent. The bush changed to pine forest for a while then onto a vehicle track for the last km before the carpark.

Now it was 11 km road walk. As I got up from taking a break in a bus shelter after 5 km Fred and Nev caught up and rapidly disappeared into the distance infront.

Lovely track through the pines

On the road. Points for effort

Wood Pigeon

Waikanae River Trail

Night 61 (after I stripped the bed in the morning)

The last 5 km had more traffic and they were travelling very fast and not giving me much room when they passed.

In Waikanae I had lunch (Subway) and continued on to the river trail that I followed for 4 km before leaving the trail. It was great to see so many people enjoying the fantastic track.

I then walked a short way to reach Scotty and Mel's house. They were welcoming and being keen outdoor people themselves knew my priorities;  shower, laundry, drink and food. Scotty's parents were visiting and they are keen trampers so there was no shortage of conversation.  Scotty and Mel prepared a great dinner if BBQ and salad which I had a couple of helpings of. It was an enjoyable night. When Scotty's parents, Di and Barry, found out I was planning to stealth camp in a park in Wellington they offered to pick me up fron the trail and I stay with them which was great.

After they left we kept talking and it was great to catch up with the army gossip and what they had been up to. At 2330 I went to bed.

Note there is no photo of Scotty as he is still serving in the army.

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