Day 29 – Hunua Falls to Lower Mangatawhiri

November 16, 2016

km traveled today: 21 walked; Drove from Penny’s to Hunua Falls

total TA km: 693

Today was great. We left Penny’s house at around 8am, but not before we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast that they prepared for us. So thankful for their generosity. Penny drove us to Hunua Falls, our Hunua forest trailhead track.  We took a picture in front of the waterfall and began walking, bidding Penny a bittersweet farewell. 

Track started nice, but became more and more muddy as we went on, surely a result of the heavy rain the night before. 

The heavy mud was quite slippery, and caused me to take a spill, and in doing so, desperately employing my trekking pole as a means of support. Alas, the fall was too severe, and the tip of my pole bent to form a harsh angle. Big L for Jack. 

Finally we got out of the mud and chowed down on a nice lunch leaned up against Wairoa dam. During lunch, we actually figured out a way to bend my pole back into relatively good shape (and L turns to W).

Post dam, we pretty much had road/ATV trail walking, so we were actually able to take turns reading aloud from Jasper’s kindle as we walked. Really helped the Km fly by. 

We pulled into our campsite, cooked a great spaghetti dinner, though learned that frying sausage in our pots causes an annoying cleaning hassle, probably will not try again. We did, however, use two burners at once successfully for the first time, thanks to Penny’s advice of letting the flame on our tuna can burner “bloom”. 

After dinner we played some hearts at our picnic table, where shortly after we were joined by a man named George, who offered us each a beer. We had a nice chat with George and his two friends, Dennis and Sam, who are employed to remove the invasive willows from the river. 

Going to bed with a stomach full of spaghetti and a free beer would be great on its own, but on top of that, Sam and I are doing so in our brand new MSR tent, which so far is spacious and wonderful. Hope it serves us well. 


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