Distance today: 20.4km
Distance total: 1323.8km
Time hiked: 5h 50min
Time total: 394h 37min
Rain, rain, rain. It simply won't stop. And slowly but surely gets a bit annoying.
So we are in no hurry to leave for National Park. Especially as it's gonna be a comparably short hike.
It's close to 8 when we leave the Holiday Park, our clothes still damp from yesterday. Doesn't really matter, as we are dripping wet after the first few steps again anyway.
The 12 kilometer Whakapapaiti and Mangahuia tracks are mostly easy going but it's basically a small stream all the way to the road - 4.5 hours in the water. I normally don't have a problem with walking through the water. Today however, my feet feel really cold with them constantly in the chilly water.
There's a river crossing about halfway in. Surprisingly the river is not flooded at all and easy to ford. Something I noticed several times now. I guess here in NZ it needs a lot more rain until the rivers get flooded.
The last 7 kilometers are an uneventful hike along the road. Wind and even some sun(!) dry my rain jacket, sandals and socks before reaching the village at 2.
But not time to call it a day just yet as we have to plan and book our River Journey to Whanganui.
Hannah already contacted a company that rents canoes and kayaks beforehand. She intends to paddle from Whakahoro to Whanganui in 5 days. Starting on Wednesday, arriving on Sunday.
It's a small deviation from the official TA route, which would continue another 40 kilometers or 1.5 days along a mountain bike track to Mangapura Landing before joining the river there and paddle to Wanganui in 3-4 days.
This actually would be my preferred choice but I decide to join Hannah on her trip, as you can only do the trip when you are at least two - for health and safety reasons...
The good thing about doing it this way is that it's exactly during the first one and a half days of the paddling, when the meteorologists predict fine weather. For sure better to spend the sparse nice days on the river rather than in the bush.
It's a bit more than 50 kilometers to Whakahoro, 80 percent of it on the road. It wouldbe possible to do it one day but as we start the river journey on Wednesday we have two easy days ahead of us.
This means sleeping in tomorrow, letting the predicted storm pass by, before heading again into the bush.