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