Losing track of the days but suspect it was Thursday am when the motelier dumped us at a spot at the beginning of the Puketi forest which is the other half of Omahuta forest divided by the Waipapa stream and guess what swims in the that stream-trout!!!!
We knew this was a two day tramp but I was a bit disconcerted when the motelier said she would see us soon. If I had been on my own I would have been lounging about on Paihia having skipped this forest stuff, would have managed an hour in Herekino and that would have been it!!!!
Anyway off we went, first part was lovely, nice wide track, river beside us, good sized kauri hi de ho…
Nik caught and released two nice trout, hi de ho, nice lunch by the river BUT no sign saying this was the piece we were supposed to walk in for 2.5 ks…
Instead we started on a track out of hell, luckily Nik had brought a four metre length of braided nylon rope, it was used at least ten times, deep steep ravines, all mud and no footholds. Nightmare territory for me, made survivable by Nik taking my pack, dumping it on the otherside then coming back and tying the rope around a tree which I then sort of abseiled down… sometimes I could get up the other side, sometimes same process but me crawling up with rope assistance.
I laughed once(probably the only time) when i arrived at a steepish bit and there was the rope ready to go.
We crawled along the side of the river bank for hours, probably only doing one k an hour if that and the damn deep part of the river way below us which gave me the hebes as well.
Nik started going ahead and leaving his pack and coming back for mine..eventually he carried mine as well as his for at least an hour, must have been a 30 k
load. About 6.30pm , after 8 hours of what even Nik described as shitty walking , we stopped to camp.
Dinner was fresh scotch fillet , salad (from the night before) and dehydrated mushroom risotto, cooked by NIk. Chocolate for dessert. In bed by 8 pm fir me while Nik went down to the river for another fish.
Next morning we were on the trail by 8.15. More seriously shitty stuff,see comment to Catherine.
Crossed the river and a whole new world, wider path. steep but pretty kauri groves.even a good campsite…we stamped on,me moaning about steep %#>] paths.
Only fly in the ointment , figuratively ,was the ones buzzing around the bloated corpses of dead possums in the DOC? set traps. Most have been about 200 of the stinky things along the way. Some were in bits having been eaten by rats. There were rat bait stations as well. Nik said the possum corpses were about two weeks old….ugh….
However, again we saw lots if wild pig sign and Nik saw two mobs of pigs, 5 in the first and 7 in the second, all happily doing piggy things until Nik clapped his hands, spoil sport. Heard a goat, saw tuis, heard shining cuckoos and gray warblers plus a few rosellas, a dew wood pigeons abd a dead ferret!
About 1 pm by the time we hit the end of the forest and then it was Nik’s turn to moan,he hates walking on roads ,really he hates walking anywhere but bush!!! I surprised him with my sudden turn of speed. We made the 8 ks to the camp site faster than the previous ten ks by about 150%…
Met three walkers,USA,Holland and Australia, apparently if you can walk this you can walk anything.
Well, I could with a sherpa and a water carrier…still cannot lift my pack on without some assistance or a really high bench..have to get rid of more stuff..
Not such a gourmet meal last night, bacon and dehydrated bacon mash, pretty good though. Loads of space at the campsite so a German couple park their car right behind us and set up their tent,we hogged the table…
This am was a slow start, walked the toad, thru some paddocks.Nik helped a cast sheep..asked two farmers if they were going into Kerikei,,nope,already been…sod it after ten ks phoned the motel I had stayed in previously and begged for a lift, kindly done..Could not stay there tonight,full.Back there tomorrow pm considering my route,Nik said the walk to the Opua ferry before and after is #%[£€…
Nik flies home tomorrow..so no Abbie and no Nik.. David has some photos to put on but he has been unwell,they will appear…