Distance travelled today: 19 km
Total TA distance covered: 1477 km
Short and sweet.
After a great sleep, generous helping of bacon and eggs and a nice coffee, Arran with the boys in tow drove me the 6 km down their road back to the trail. The kids were keen to see the walking poles come out and put into action; and watched a few minutes from the car as I continued on, turning around to big waves of farewell.
It was a relatively quick walking day today with 12km of road walking to begin the day before getting onto a mixed cycle/walking path south of Palmerston North. The road miles flew by leading out through Bunnythorpe and skirting to the east of Palmerston North. Not really much to report on for this section. The trail mostly used backroads, a short section through private paddocks and along the rail line and there wasn’t much traffic to contend with.
Picking up the walk/cycle way, the trail led around south of Palmerston North following the Manawatu River, the river givining the region its name. It was great to be off the bitumen and onto a nicer surface under foot. The path along the river was very popular with the locals. Many out and about walking dogs, going for a jog or meandering along on bikes.
On reaching the main bridge over the Manawatu it was time to leave Te Araroa and head a couple of kilometres into town. I’d be staying at the Pepper Tree Hostel tomorrow night and was hoping they could accommodate me tonight as well. For all my planning in Whanganui I forget a day somewhere or am walking too fast and found I had an extra day up my sleeve. So I’ll hang around in town tomorrow and just relax, get resupplied for the Tararua Range and maybe even go and see a movie.
Palmerston North is a decent sized town and I’m hoping to pick up some Backcountry Cuisine meals from Bivouac for the Tararua’s. My most recent food resupplies have been really heavy and with 5 to 7 days to the next resupply I’m keen to try and keep the weight down by throwing in some more dehydrated meals for this leg of the trail.
I’ll catach up with Sarah tomorrow and we’ll get her sorted with food before hitting the hills the following day. The forecast is looking ok but maybe some rain later in the week. This will be one of the biggest true mountain ranges encountered on the trail so far. The weather is notorious for being a bit crazy on top so we’ll see how we go. Might need and extra days food just in case we get caught out up there.