Ongarue to Taumarunui
Pitching my tent alongside the North Islands main trunk line might not have been the best idea in hindsight. There were at least five trains through the night. It was so loud and the whole ground was shaking. Each time I woke up to the sound of it approaching and as it got closer it felt like it was going to come straight over me.
I was up at 7am and walking by 8. There was a thick fog in the valley when I got up but by the time I left it had completely cleared. I could tell it was going to be a hot one, and it was! It was all road walking to Taumarunui. Jesse caught up to me early on when I stopped for a break and we walked together most of the way. He had camped at the first spot where you come out of the Timber Trail. Josh and Andrea were not far behind. Jesse and I were both looking forward to a McDonalds feed and we went straight there. I had a Mega Mac meal with an extra cheeseburger and long black. I spent a good two hours there and used the wifi. Jesse left to meet up with his wife. Josh and Andrea turned up at McDonalds too. They had the same idea. Andrea had arranged to get on the Whanganui river from Taumarunui starting tomorrow which means skipping at least 120kms of the trail. And one of the best parts of the trail. Josh is staying at the holiday park where I am staying. The owner told me to call him when I get into town and he will come pick me up. The holiday park is 4kms off the trail. Unfortunately I could not get through to them so eventually I decided to walk it at about 4pm. I had been to the supermarket and purchased a six pack off beers and a few things so my bag was feeling heavy. It was really hot at that time too so I tried to hitch hike. I failed. It felt really weird at first, sticking my thumb out. Something I hadn’t done before. I checked in to my cabin and the first thing I did was put some washing on and then have shower. Josh is camping. I offered him a beer and we sat outside my cabin chatting while our washing was on. Then I called home and caught up with the family. I will have a rest day tomorrow and I really need it. I also need to reassess and plan out the next leg of my journey.