Man versus Mountain and River

A detour from Te Araroa’s suggested path saw me continue ‘around the mountain’ from Whakapapa Village to Mangaturuturu Hut.

Even in a rugged environment, there is delicate beauty.

My first 'club hut' - very impressive. It was built in 1958!

This was a big day – probably in the Top 5 most physically strenuous days I’ve had. As far as walking all day goes, I’ve pretty much got that sorted – road or beach or forest track is manageable. This wasn’t so much ‘walking’ as full-on ‘tramping’.

Up hill, down dale, up hill, down dale x lots of repeats. You’d think a mountain is nice and smooth around the edges, but Ruapehu certainly isn’t! That said, I was treated with perfect weather (overcast and cool) and amazing views of the surrounding region.

The Mangaturuturu Hut is the Wanganui Tramping Club’s hut and Graeme and Barry were there helping DoC eliminate some pesky heather. They generously shared some of their yummy fruit custard as we watched the sun set on the imposing mountain just outside the window.

Hydro-slide anyone? Short, but very fast!

Ignore the shin - it's not as bad as it looks, promise! Focus instead on the little critters coming for a ride on the shoe...

Fluffy seed pods coated my shoe the next day, adding to the list of ‘weird things that have attached to my legs’. It was a shorter day, but on reaching Ohakune I was pretty well knackered. An early night at the YHA ensued.

A challenge then appeared: the distances were big but the campsites were evenly spaced. Ohakune (via Raetihi) to Pipiriki. Pipiriki to the campsite half-way down Wanganui River Road. That campsite to Wanganui. 3 days each of about 38km. Was I game to try? Sure…

The deceptively peaceful-looking Wanganui River.

Since I’m typing this in Wanganui (thanks host Dianne, Group Leader at St Johns Scouts!) in one piece, though a little weary fair to say, I succeeded! šŸ˜€

There must be a car-stacker inside, 'cos it was only a little shed šŸ˜‰

And to cap off yesterday I helped Bill Charnock celebrate his 50th birthday. He’s been to more Jamborees than I’ve had hot dinners!

About Stuart Fleming

Just a guy who likes to walk and write.
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