Day 29: Lower Mangatawhiri Campsite to Mercer

Distance today: 28.0km

Distance total: 812.7km 

Time hiked: 9h 04min

Time total: 239h 59min


The climb up to the ridge is really steep but thanks to stairs not a big deal. Once on top the ridge, it's a continuous up and down. Initially, the trail is, as expected, really rough and unformed, but surprisingly is getting easier with every step! The last "very steep and slippery" descent is actually a great formed trail, and thanks to switchbacks not steep at all. I could image however that if the clay surface is wet, it might be slippery.

After the descent, it's another half an hour towards the road on a trail, in places badly damaged by the rain.


The road is a welcome change. Still, my right foot starts to hurt a little. I guess all the roots were probably a bit too much for the foot. Hopefully, the light pain will stop during the following days.


What follows after the road is a walk on a dam. Initially a very pleasant walk, especially when sharing the dam with hundreds of cows for a while. However, yhe hike gets a little tiring after a few kilometers. 

A C152 is doing some air work overhead, otherwise not much to see. 

As the sky gets darker and darker, the Cessna leaves and shortly afterwards, a few showers pass by. Nothing serious though.


Very close to Mercer, the trail follows parallel to a expressway The track, if you can call it like that, is a real joke. There are signs. But that's it. Not walkable. So I continue the last kilometer along the shoulder of the expressway. Probably illegal but much safer with all the glass and metal scattered down there, where the trail should be and so close to my camping site I simply don't care anyway. Hopefully the trail along the river tomorrow won't be as shitty as this one.


Camping tonight is behind a pub on a service station. For Free - hot shower included! Wow! 

While eating a yummy pizza with Rose and Dylan, it starts pouring down. The first heavy rain after nearly a week.

Straight ahead is the right way...
Straight ahead is the right way...
Better find another way
Better find another way
Sandro vs Cows ;)
Sandro vs Cows ;)

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