Bombay to Meremere
As soon as Roger dropped me off in the morning I realised I didn’t have my hat. I checked my bag and looked back just a few meters where I had got out of the van. I carried on and arranged for Roger and the boys to bring it to me with another bottle of water on their way past. They were going fishing. I thought it must be at home and I had left it somewhere. They could not find it but gave me another cap and my water. Cole drove up to where I got dropped off and found it on the side of the road!
I crossed over into the Waikato region as I followed Pinnacle Hill road down to SH2. I walked down SH2 for a while and it was really busy. I had to be careful and at one point sprinted across a bridge when I saw a gap in the traffic. I crossed a stile to get under the bridge and then started along a stopbank that to me straight across to Mercer. The stopbank was over grown with waist high grass that was tangled across the trail and left sticky residue on my clothes and legs as I pushed through it. I passed a large swamp area at the end, went under the motorway and up the river bank to Mercer. I stopped there for a good rest and had a coffee and icecream. It gave me a chance to get out of the heat and catch up on my blogs. The Waikato river runs right behind Mercer so I came out the back of the food hall and there it was. But I had to cross back over the side of the motorway and into steep farmland for 4 or 5 kms. It was tough climbing at times up steep banks and then down into wet swamp. It was mostly just squishing under my feet because the vegetation was thick that I was standing on but then all of a sudden one foot just sunk up to my knee and my forward momentum had my other foot under water before I could stop it. I shared my frustration with anyone who may have been in a 1km radius. My boots are now very wet again. Dad picked me up from opposite the derelict power station at Meremere and we both went back to Coles for the night. My brother and his family were also there visiting. We had a great big dinner, including fresh flounder, and a catch up then I settled for bed so I could write a few more posts.
Dad is going to be my support person until I am south of Pirongia. This is going to be great to have his help and sorting things like accommodation ahead of me and then picking me up etc. Starting with bacon and eggs tomorrow morning in Mercer!
It is going to be a really big push the next two days to reach Hamilton on new years eve. It’s only 60kms but half of it is following the Waikato river bank and the other half includes the Hakarimata range just above Ngaruawahia.
It has been really nice staying here for the last few nights and catching up with family. Such good people and they have really looked after me.