Distance today: 41km
Distance total: 1672.0km
Time hiked: 10h 22min
Time total: 467h 43min
Another early start for road walk day number 3.
The first two kilometers offer some surprisingly great views over rolling hills on the one hand, massive cumulonimbus clouds on the other side. All around me - just not above. That's how I like it.
By 10, I make it to "Friendly Feilding, NZ's Most Beautiful Town"
Well, it's certainly a cute town. Nothing more though. For it's not the cities and towns that make the country so special, but rather its landscape and, especially here on the North Island, the people.
It's been more than two hours since I started and definitely time for breakfast. The break gets a bit longer than expected as I wait for a heavy rain shower to pass through first.
Fairly unspectacular is the second, longer part of todays hike along the railway line and Feilding Airport into Palmerston North with a bit of hiking through flooded paddocks.
Upon entering the city, a car pulls over. The man at the wheel gets out of the car and walks towards me. "You must be Sandro?!" - How does he know? I'm just standing there, not knowing what's going on...
As it turns out, Aaron is reading this blog and when he saw a hiker walking in sandals, he knew it had to be me. That's so cool :)
He offers me to stay at his place.
Since I already have a place to stay, I have to decline. But here we have it again: Kiwi Hospitality at its best!
With some fresh fruits in my hands (thanks Aaron!) I continue my hike, circling around town and follow the river to Fitzherbert Bridge.
After resupplying for the next few days through the Tararua Ranges I meet Richard, Matt's nephew, who kindly offered me to stay at his nice place in the farming town of Rongotea.
We spend a lovely evening chatting, eating delicious mince and potatoes as well as watching the Music Awards. I really enjoy it, as I know the next section through the Tararua Ranges will be tough and mostly far away from civilization.