Yesterday was a bit warm to be walking really. But walk I did. And walk… and walk…
Ken, Michelle and Sharnae kicked the day off by showing me the awesome Otorohanga Scout hall. Perched high on a ridge it’s surrounded by steep, bush-clad slopes: just perfect for exploring and making bivvies and playing games in. It’s a shame that not many people in the Otorohanga community actually realise that Scouts is still alive and looking at growing.
Then we called in to the Otorohanga Kiwi House – these guys have generously dontated three family passes to go in my Family Adventure Auction I’ll be running on
TradeMe very shortly (it will be full of Auckland and surrounds family fun, like Butterfly Creek, MOTAT, Waikato Coal Museum, Explorer Bus, etc).
Armed with cold-meat sandwiches, I hit the road to Waitomo. Bill the Taxi Driver stopped for a yarn – he’d seen me walking yesterday and thought I was up to something big. A lady jogging past (she had just finished 18km!) had the best starting line so far: “You look like you have a story.” <puff puff>
An icecream was a welcome treat at Waitomo, where I got to chatting with Kim from the Netherlands, though her accent was jumbled since spending a year in Australia, studying.
Into the heat again, the Pehitawa Track loomed. It was hot. It was steep. There was just enough gorse to keep me awake. I only landed on my bum and slid down the hill once. The views from the top were breath-taking, or was my breath taken away just getting up there?
For this Canterbury Plains-boy, these rolling hills of the King Country are taking a bit of getting used to. The afternoon seemed to be a never-ending rollercoaster of hilly lush pastures and curious cows.
I’ve never been more happy to see balloons in my life. 8pm had chimed and I was at the doorstep of Ollie Mitchell and Caitlin Gill – Te Araroa crosses their farm and they happen to be parents of two Te Kuiti Cubs! I fell into their swimming pool, devoured from the pot-luck BBQ and chatted with the other Scout parents and neighbours.
Their guest house has an amazing view and today I made the most of a relaxing Waitangi Day public holiday: catching my breath, doing not much and interacting with their four active children. Thanks for the hospitality guys!