Left Camp Bay about 0730 and arrived at Mistletoe Bay around 1830. Covered 32km today including a couple of kms off trail getting to and from campsites at either end - we also did 1360m vertical up and 1340 down, so a very big day for us! GPS track for the day is here.
So, it was my 60th birthday today and we had to celebrate it with a very long, hard day - especially as it was only our second day back on the trail after a couple of month break! The day started with a climb out of Camp Bay, eventually getting up onto the tops that we essentially followed for much of the day. As you can see from the GPS track there was a lot of up and down involved.
We came across quite a few walkers during the day, most of whom were going from lodge to lodge with their gear carted by water taxi - predominantly Australians as it happens. Belinda discovered that one of the tungsten tips had gone from a walking pole which meant it was slipping often. We had an unscheduled 45 minutes stop when we had reception so i could organise with Bivouac in Wellington to send some to our motel in Havelock. We got there in the end!
Had some great views of both Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds as we headed west. The track is generally pretty good as it is well used and mostly goes through relatively young regenerating bush. We stopped for lunch at Black Rock shelter and carried on down to Torea Saddle, where most of the hikers were dropping down into the Portage on the road. We, however, had to carry on across the road and carry on for about another 8.5km to get to Mistletoe Bay - including one km off trail to the campsite itself.
There were about 100 school kids at the camp but we were pointed towards a quiet area that worked out fine. I shouted myself a Powerade for my birthday drink - no beer on site :-( Yummy dehydrated dinner before bed :-).
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"!!