26 Oct 2021
And so….. I returned home to Tauranga, blimin Covid Level 3 restrictions in Northland! But enjoyed the safety of family in Opua where I warmed up, enjoyed their garden, wonderful food and company. I healed the wounds of the first 250km long hike.
Trusting last years TA maps and poor detail on the Puketi by-pass did not help build confidence. Maps and guides were updated on and after 6 Oct, the Puketi wet weather by-pass still remains unclear in new guides. I chose to be safe and follow the guidelines, and if water flowed over the ford there was a flood warning ahead. The sign stated that clearly yet where is Mokau Ridge Rd? I found it 10 hours later.
And so, I followed the by-pass. Another TA walker following behind me by a couple of days pressed on through Puketi and experienced chest high water through the water section at one point. TA walkers ahead sailed on through!
I was forced to use the by-pass due to a one-hour overnight downpour with rain before and after through out the night at my wild camp at Omahuta. The google map follows.
And so, I needed to be better prepared before I set out again to avoid being a “tragic” TA walker.
So much for travelling light, I have reviewed my pack and contents adding and taking away useless stuff. Back to my Osprey pack and carrying extra layers for wet and cold conditions.
What I have learnt is that a 5-day tramp consecutively is not the same as a 5-day tramp and return home for a hot bath. Te Araroa is tough, challenging and rewarding where consecutive hikes are all joined into one.
Saying all of that, I’m heading to Taumaranui to begin TA south from there, my pack is heavier and I’m 5 kilos lighter. I am more confident with this re-set.
If you want to get to Taumaranui from the East Coast call Taumaranui i-site! 07 895 7494. Great local knowledge and services. I’m heading to Turangi on the bus tomorrow to be picked up by ‘My waka, your waka’ to shuttle me to the furthest north of the lockdown zone Taumaranui. More tomorrow!