Kaniwhaniwha Reserve to Pirongia West Road
Dads cousin Shirley dropped us (me, dad and my brother Scott) off this morning as she lives in Pirongia. The track started with the Nikau walk from the reserve before a gradual climb for the most part and then some steep parts closer to the summit which is 953m above sea level. It was a very nice bush walk. The higher we got, the windier it got. There was a platform at the top with a ladder so you could see over the treeline but unfortunately the view was not as good as it could have been as it was a bit hazy and we had cloud blowing around us.
The hut was another 45 minutes further along. We had planned to stay there overnight and were settling in by 1pm. After about an hour I asked dad and Scott if they would like to carry on rather than stay there. I was feeling keen to make up some kms and figured I could make up a whole day if I pushed on and put another big effort in the next day. We all agreed to continue. Dad called Shirley to arrange a pick up at the other end. It was slower going down the south side than it was going up. There was a lot of mud and we had to take our time on the steep bits. There was a surprising amount of uphill climbing on the way down and I had to keep checking my GPS to convince myself I was on the right track. By 6pm we were out and I walked a few extra kms down the road to an intersection. When exiting the track I noticed a sign on a tree for homestay accommodation nearby so I called and arranged to pitch my tent there. That way I would not need to travel back to Raglan and then have Scott drop me off again in the morning. I arrived there at 7pm and met my hosts Lynn and Scott. Lynn brought me a homemade Kombucha and some nut slice while I started setting up my tent. I was then able to have a hot shower and cook some dinner as the sun went down. It was a great way to finish the day, sitting in the paddock in a camping chair with a small table for my cooking and taking a moment to just chill and appreciate where I am and what I am doing.
Scott gave me a ride in the morning back to my start point but advised it would be a good idea to start about 5kms down the road as it was a bit dangerous and not much room to get out of the way of cars. I was happy about that as I had a 40km plus day ahead of me.