Pt2 Day 32. TA km185 (start of Pukatea Ridge Track) to Puketi Forest HQ Camp - 18/03/16
Today's gps track is here. We settled for a shorter day today, ending up doing around 14km - a wise idea after a couple of harder days! We didn't get underway until about 0900 as we were not in a huge rush today.
We started with a climb through forest with significant numbers of kauri of reasonable size - lots in the 600-1000mm diameter range I guess. Not huge, but well established to grow for the next few hundred years!
The tramping standard track continued up for around 3.5km before we emerged onto Pirau Ridge Rd - a 4WD track that was easier going. From here it was a relatively easy 9km walk to the Puketi Forest HQ campsite. We got enough reception to use the phone to book spots in the hut at the campsite, rather than tenting. There was heavier rain due later in the day and overnight so this might give us a chance to keep our gear a little drier!!
We were still counting possums until about a couple of kms before the Forest HQ, when we popped out of the Puketi Forest itself. As noted in the previous blog, we settled on number 41 before leaving the forest!!
We arrived at the campsite about 1500 and let ourselves into the hut with the door combination. It was an 18 bunk hut and had all the mod cons - fire, gas stove, kettle and toaster included!! The camp also had toilets and a cold shower. We did have a couple of foreigners coming up at different times asking if the were able to just stay in the hut. We told them about the booking system - anyway, the net result was that we were the only two in the hut overnight. Very nice listening to the rain pouring down and feeling smug about being under a real roof :-).
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Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!