Alarm was set for six so I could leave at seven – sunrise today at 7.29h ?
But since I went to bed yesterday at 8h I felt refreshed this morning. And off I went. This is what you get for getting up early.

The day started with a lot of up and down again on the ridge with good views. Even though I was not able to spot Mt. Taranaki which will be my next side trip.

But the walk in the early morning was very nice. Still nice and chilly but the sun started to warm up.

 When I had reception for be first time I checked the weather forecast and the rain was supposed to come in already this afternoon now. So I needed to push it out if I did not want to get caught in the rain. 23km in the mountains and another five on the road. Long day. Based on the trailnotes 12-13h of tramping without the road part ?

So I tried to keep the pace up, only small breaks and luckily I felt a lot better than yesterday. Funny that a short day with 13km and 3000m of elevation is considered as a rest day by my body already ?

The rest of the day was a constant up and down through open ridge lines, scrub and thicker forest the further I descended on the final ridge.

I got out of the mountains before the rain started at around 4pm – what a relief. And then the last few km on the way road to the Outdoor Centre which has a great reputation amongst all TA trampers. So I was happy to stay the night here.

I found an empty house with open doors and after a while Emma welcomed me with: “Hey, I am Emma. You are a TA tramper? Make yourself at home. Would you like to have a beer?” Jiehaaaa! I am home ?

Emma also told me that her boyfriend just finished the TA and will be around soon. And when Sean showed up we instantly remembered meeting on the trail just short before Tekapo! So great! And then another German TA NOBO, Christoph, showed up which I just missed by one day in the Tararuas.

The night just got better and better. John and Sally are the owner of the Outdoor Centre and welcomed us as well. They invited us to stay in their spare bedroom, filled us up with more beer, wine and food and we had a chat until late in the night. Next morning we got up and had the house to ourselves with the comment from Sally: just help yourself with food and drinks until we are back in the afternoon.

I don’t know what to say!? How else would you define hospitality? What a trust and great spirit to open your house to complete strangers just to have these encounters. I am overwhelmed. That’s a role model! We need more people like this in the world. Thank you so much!

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