Day 37 – Airstrip (km 871) to Waitomo

November 24, 2016

km traveled today: 26

total TA km: 897

Happy turkey day!! Today we left our wonderful (if somewhat exposed) grassy sheep hill and began our walk toward Waitomo. The morning was much colder and damper than we had been used to, and we began by trudging through various up and down bushy sections, that actually proved quite arduous early in the morning. 

Eventually the clouds cleared and the weather was actually quite balmy, as we traversed through the red clay mining road, while also occasionally finding the relief of shade within the woods we would occasionally weave in and out of.  To finish off the morning, we made our way through the beautiful farmland that has characterized much of this island so far.

After that section, we emerged out onto actual paved road, where we had a nice lunch on the shoulder, taking time to air out our hot and muggy feet. A short walk and a quick hitch brought us into town and the lovely Waitomo YHA, where we would be paying $10 pp to set up tents for the night (fat discount due to our low carbon traveler cert). Really wonderful facility, actually my favorite YHA so far. Hot showers, impeccably neat kitchen with an arsenal of pots and pans, a vast movie selection, and a salt water pool(!).

Sam, Jasper, and I took a lovely brisk dip in the pool (Sam made good use of the floating tubes provided insert dope picture). 

After our swim I found some eggs in the free section of the fridge, and fried them up for a casual snack as we watched Deadpool on the common room TV. The YHA provides a shuttle to the Redlands Hotel, where they provided an all you can eat dinner of beef stew, roast potatoes, and rice for only $10 NZD! Not a bad way to enjoy our Thanksgiving in New Zealand. After getting all we could out of the buffet, we bought a carrot cake to finish of our Thanksgiving feast, which served as a worthy finale. The shuttle picked us back up and brought us to the YHA. Super convenient. 

Awesome way to spend Thanksgiving, but we for sure miss our families and pumpkin pie! Mostly our families (though it’s close haha). 

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