Although I liked the YHA at Waitomo, I didn’t really get a good sleep. The bunks were to soft I suppose. There was also a group in the same room with us who went to the pub and then made a very noisy return.
Had to wait for a couple of showers to go through in the morning and then it was full wet weather kit and go.
I am mildly sure that the Te Araroa Trust carefully plans things so that your first hour of walking involves a fairly steep and muddy hill and their careful planning paid off again. We navigated stile after stile across paddocks, up and over hills, through sheep and bulls, and finally over into Te Kuiti via an incredibly slippery route.
Te Kuiti is nice. We grabbed some supplies. The guy from Casara Mesa Backpackers came down the hill and picked us up. All in all, I like the place.
- It’s hard to start out in the rain but sometimes it gets better.
- The infamous “Te Kuiti Tunnel of Gorse” seems to have been dealt with.
- People have made some strange access decisions for T.A. walkers. For instance there is a part of the trail to Te Kuiti where instead of just nipping over the ridge past the house the access is up an incredibly steep hill past their lounge where I imagine they sit sipping cups of tea and watching us struggle.
- Cows are largely bored and this is why they follow you.