I do seem to have a motivational issue with getting up and running these days. My alarm went off at 6.30h but I didn’t leave until 8.30h. Ok, I dried my tent and uploaded the blog entry but still. The days are so short now that every hour you loose in the morning results in either faster walking and fewer breaks or less distance. And I actually need the breaks at the moment with my ankle.
Couldn’t leave though without capturing my look after the shower this morning. Carol & Dave the owner of the campsite got a hold of me last night before I went to bed and when they heard that I am doing the TA miracles happened again – the price dropped from 20$ to 10$, I had a towel and soap in my hands (which is great so you don’t start out with a wet towel getting all dusty outside your backpack), free wifi and a lot of advise for the next day.

Grabbed a coffee and muffin to go in Huntly, went back over the bridge and started out on the street again.

I somehow missed the entry to the trail which runs parallel to the street at one point of time and of course everything was fenced in so I had no chance to cut through. So I had to wait for the golf club to get back on the trail – the trail actually goes over the 16 hole of the course. While I was walking a group of players passed me and we started chatting a bit. The usual story – what I was doing in he middle of nowhere with a backpack and so on. One of the guys directly said if I could wait twenty minutes he would give me a ride to Auckland which is only a twenty-minute ride – nice try. And the other one turned out to be a German originally from Munich. Rolf quickly scribbled his phone number and address on his scorecard and said: I will make a real Gulasch for you and we’ll also have a bed. Ah, and an unmarried blond daughter he mentioned as well… 😂
I really think this Kiwi hospitality thing is contagious!
From the golf course I entered the trail which was an 4×4 track passing through various paddocks next to Waikato River.

I had a little break, took my shoes off, gave my ankle a little massage and laid down. And then I stared reading the last blog entry from Anna & Jeremy (one of the couples I met the day after I fell in the Richmond Ranges and dislocated my shoulder). They had finished just a week ago in Bluff. Very emotional. And very emotionally described what it meant and what it made with them in the last days knowing that the end of this journey was near. I don’t know why but it really touched me. Maybe because I am in a desolate condition anyways with my ankle at the moment? Every freakin’ step hurts and I only wish to be able to walk without pain soon. But it tears me apart with every step at the moment.
Or maybe because also the end of the trail is coming for me and I had to think about what it will feel like for me?
Because the end of the trail also means that I have no clue what will happen afterwards?
I realised that I won’t be able to share this moment with somebody like Anna & Jeremy did?
A lot of old stuff that just comes up again?
Probably a bit of all the above. Let’s put it like this – it hit me hard and took a while for it to vanish.
I also had to think about two persons again who tragically lost their lives in the last two weeks: my godchild’s mother who was found dead by her son and a classmate from university who died one day after giving birth to her daughter. What a f… up world! I am wishing all friends and family a lot of strength for the next days, weeks and month. I don’t know what to say more… Thinking about it made me very sad again ?

Unfortunately we don’t appreciate the basic and simple things in life and life itself in our day-to-day rush. I thought about how many days I had wasted with unbelievable stupid things that neither led to anything nor gave me pleasure. It again shows how limited and precious our time on this planet is and that we better make use of it.

You know that you are in an emotional unstable constitution when a herd of cows which runs up to the fence to stare at you (funny – this is how animals in a zoo must feel like) makes you feel loved, laugh and cry at the same time. I just did it all of it. Thanks guys…

Well, one of the emo-days I guess. I had a few so far and it will probably not be the last on this trip.

I continued to my lunch stop of today – Rangiriri. Over the bridge – can you spot the Koi? The entire river is full of them – unfortunately since they are introduced and diminishing native species.
Due to a construction site I had to cross the highway by foot – three lanes including three guard rails – one on each side and one in the middle with no space in between. So I had to cross in one go. Scary! After lunch in a cafe the owner offered/forced me to accept her lift through the construction site on the other side of the highway. Only fifty meters but way more comfortable in a car. Thank you!

Rest of the day was mostly unspectacular. More road walking and cows without fences between us.

Views of the Waikato River.

And some mean trail parts. These stiles are used on the entire trail if you have to go over a fence. Very common and a good idea since most of the fences are electrically charged! I have probably still not shown it to you so far. Anyways, this is one of them. But if you look closely you can see that they put up another electrical fence right before and after the steps – this is mean and advanced level 9. At least!

Another mean one was this one. Also electrically charged and not a lot of room. This went on for about 2km!

Well, and finally I found the perfect camp spot 20 minutes before sunset and before the rain started. Lovely, right at the river and sheltered in a little valley.

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