My boots were not in a good state after the day before so we had arranged for Corinne to bring my other pair up when she came to pick up dad from the Mangamuka dairy. The dairy was only 5kms away so we set off at about 7.30am for an easy walk down state highway one.
We were surprised to see Jerome ahead of us with his thumb out on SH1. He had taken a wrong turn in the Raetea and came out in the Mangamuka gorge the night before. He was now attempting to hitch back to the gorge so he could go back up the same track and finish it. I shook his hand and thought I wouldn’t see him for a while as that would set him back at least a day.
We had the can of coke we were craving the day before and a coffee to go with it. Corinne had bought bacon and egg pie so we sat outside the dairy, reflected and refueled for about an hour. I refilled my water bottles and said bye to dad and Corinne. It was really good having dad with me for a few days on the trail. Especially through the Raetea.
I continued on to Apple Dam. It was all metal roads today and nothing much interesting happened. It was bloody hot though and so I was covered up and sweating the whole time.
Short day and arrived at camp site at 3pm. The water tank was empty so I filled up a bottle from the stream below. It looked very dodgy. The stream bed was dirty and there was heaps of white foam collected a bit further down. I was alone until 7pm, about ready to get into my tent when Xavier arrived. Followed by Jerome (looking totally unfazed) and Jayden from Auckland. Followed by Fabian, Ella from Whangarei and Jess.