I left the hostal at around 8.45h. The internet was so slow and to update two of my important apps (blog and navigation) took 40 minutes. I walked back on the road to the trail.

I passed the famous Waitomo Caves and continued first on the highway and later on a farm road until I reached the forest again. The trail was surprisingly good and well maintained. Only obstacle was the wet clay ground which especially on the way down was a challenge with my ankle.

But first of all I have to say I am so glad I have my old/new shoes back! Finally grip! I don’t know how I would have survived with the other ones. Also the gaiters do an excellent job. Not a single rock or other stuff made it into my shoes today.

The thick forest only had very limited views today. But when I had them I seemed to be the lucky one not effected by the rain today…

Besides this not a lot exciting happened. A lot of mushrooms again, a nice river crossing and once in a while also some nasty parts as well.

I managed to take a wrong turn and went 1km on the wrong ridge line – and of course back again. The signage is definitely not done for people going northbound… Some further impressions from the trail today:

The final stretch went over farmland and gave some good views. This is Mt. Pirongia – my target for tomorrow.

My ankle is a lot better than expected and even better than yesterday even though I didn’t rest. I can tell how my movement is getting closer to normal and I don’t do as much compensation moves anymore. Some unplanned moves like kicking against rocks is still extremely painful where as some bending to the outside doesn’t hurt anymore. I hope it continues this way! Sweet as!
And the shot of the day for me.

Due to the early sunset the search for a campspot now starts before five o’clock already. Since Paurus asked to get some more pictures from the daily life out here… Finding water today was difficult. I actually had to stop and carefully listen today to find a hidden little source.

The campspot was easier. A little clearing a few meters away from the trail. Arrival at 5.08pm which gave me plenty of time to pitch my tent and prepare for the night.

Of course, dinner. Today was a good day. Since I am in the bush and no stream close by I decided for a freeze dry meal. They have many advantages. They are very tasty. You don’t have to clean afterwards since you only have to pour boiling water into the bag and wait for ten minutes. And the big bags are extremely practical for the night since I don’t have to leave the tent ?
Todays dish – fancy Coq au vin! Special greetings to the Panicos – not as good as yours ?

Early bedtime tonight. Sleep before 8pm since my alarm will go off at 6am ?