Day 10: Puketi Forest to DOC Puketi Camp Ground

Distance travelled today: 13km

Total TA distance: 197km

Short day today, only 13km and 5 hours. 

It absolutely bucketed down last night. Luckily, I had made it through the river section yesterday. Had I stayed at the start of the river traveres, as I had contemplated, then I would likely be back tracking today and taking the wey weather bypass as the river would have been too high. I fear this is what Bob, Chris and Katy will have to do. 

It was restless night with little to no sleep had. The huge down pour of big old fat rain smashed heavily onto the tent and was very loud, making sleep difficult. It was unrelenting and did not stop until I literally left camp this morning. I don’t know how many mm but stacks. 

My tent is a single skin tarp tent. Basically just a tarp with a floor and bug netting sown in. There isn’t a lot of overhang between the roof and where the bug netting is sown, maybe 15cm. Anyway the rain was so heavy last night it ended up boucing off the ground, under the tarp and through the bug netting. Only a fine mist once it passed through the mesh, not the whole droplets, but enough to cause most of my gear to become damp over night. Not very pleasant.  

Todays walk was fairly uneventful. It basically entailed completing the river track traverse that I didn’t quite finsh yesterday to the Pukatea Ridge for a solid climb out to a 4wd track. I passed a couple of solo blokes at the freedom camp at the start of the Pukatea Ridge. One of them, Matt, from he US, has also chosen to go as fair as the Puketi Rec Centre, so we’re sharing a camp stop for the night.

The highlight of the day was walking, steep up the ridgeline through a young stand of kauri trees. The ridge was a knife blade with minimal width about it. Early in the morning light with the lingering rain drops falling from the vegetation was amazing. The ridge dropped steeply off both sides and as I climbed higher morning mist hung beneath in the gullies on both sides. 

Arriving at the camp site just after 12 the next few hours were spent drying gear. 

So we could be having a party. Bob, Chris and Cathi all arrived having negotiated the river section. Bob got through yesterday. Chris & Katy took it on today. Very vivid and colourful description from them getting through today. 

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