Distance today: 26.4km
Distance total: 1203.2km
Time hiked: 6h 20min
Time total: 359h 43min
Road all the way to Taumarunui. Initially drizzle, followed by some sunshine.
Not much to tell about the hike itself. About 2 hours before reaching Taumarunui, I pass Sam Pepper's cute candy shop. This really made me smile :)
It's shortly to 11 when I enter Taumarunui - a town with not much to offer. Neither hostel nor backpackers and the nearest Holiday Park is 5 kilometers further south.
So my plan:
Getting my Bounce Box, buy lunch and check the mails while passing through town then head south to the camp to spend my Zero Day there.
So far the plan.
However it all ends up slightly different: beside checking the mails I also have a look at the weather forecast for the Tongariro Crossing (will be on Sunday), which is a bit shocking. Snow down to 1200 meters (the highest point of the crossing is 1800 meters...) and gale-force winds for the next few days until well into the next week Only Saturday looks a bit more promising.
This makes me think... If I skipped the Zero Day and continue tomorrow morning I might be able to do the crossing on Saturday (if the forecast is correct, if there's no snow, if the winds aren't too strong,...)
Yep, that's what I will do, despite the many "if"s. But still better than not give it a try and then regret it.
If it's not possible on Saturday, I will probably take a few Zero Days around Lake Taupo and wait fir the weather to improve.
With the changed plans, there are suddenly a lot of things to be organized and done.
Planning ahead the next few days (it looks like I need food for 5 days to National Park Village), collect my Bounce Box, take my Trail Runners out (if there's indeed snow on the crossing) and send ahead a food box to the YHA in National Park, as there's only a limited possibility to get food there.
The guys from the local information center are extremely helpful. They support me with lots of good information, let me store my backpack and charge my battery.
While doing all my tasks, I walk into Hannah, the Finnish girl from Ahipara. She's always been 1 or 2 day ahead. So nice to see her again and good to know she has the same plan as me.
We walk down south to our accommodations. Hannah to the Holiday Park, me a bit further down to a Granddad's Cottage. As I only stay for one night, I thought I'd treat myself with a nice, warm bed tonight :)
On the way to the cottage, Matt, a UK TA-hiker crosses my way. Everyone hiking TA stands out like a sore thumb so we recognize us as TA hikers instantly ;)
He's already done the crossing and is just in town to resupply for the Whanganui River Journey. During the chat he mentions the next section, 42 Traverse to Tongariro. It would be a very easy one. Really glad to hear this! Especially as my body is not happy with me for skipping the Zero Day...