Tried to leave early today – but I had trouble getting out of my warm sleeping bag. After approximately 4km and the last bit on the old logging track through the forest I came into farmland and finally a gravel road again.

The gravel road continued for 8km. Walking fast on hard ground is not really good for my ankle. Especially since the road was not completely even I always had to walk on a slight slope. Three more km on the state highway before I had another 7km on a small gravel road. And then an unbelievable view of the ocean again. It’s probably only another 20km.

After all the road walking I finally got back into the Pirongia forest. Parts of the 1000m to Mt. Pirongia I had done on the road but the last five hundred meters were about to come. What a mud festival! This has been the worst on the entire trip so far!

Can you see the steep drop? That came on top from time to time. This one was a straight four meter drop. Difficult with a backpack and only one working foot…

And while I had to step out I was watched by a giraffe ?

Up on the top there was of course no view. The clouds had pushed in already… Well, at least somebody finally had mercy with us and built a broad walk for the last 800m.