Day 27 Pipiriki – Matahiwi

7 Nov
Pipiriki 1287km start. TA km differ on these two routes. I walked the road and that starts at 0km while to canoe the river continues counting the km.

Pipiriki 0km – Ranana 19km, plus 4km were by a trail angel. 6hrs

I left Pipiriki around 8:30 and followed the tar sealed road that ran along with the Whanganui River. On the road my discoveries was a thistle growing up through a road cone, a pheasant feather and pigeon feather.

Some paddlers were resting on a bank as I passed them high up on the road. They yelled out “all ok?” arms waving madly, this was just after Jerusalem. It was 23°C, really hot and sunny. Very little shade to be found.

At Jerusalem I stopped and cut a piece out of my shoe to relieve ‘little toe’ ouchies. A cyclist arrived, we chatted and off he went to complete his 100km ride. Wifi was free at the church so I let my phone bubble away catching up with receiving feeds from the last few days.

I was quite struck by the slips and debris on the road. For the geologists out there here is why slips happen in this land. You will see the formation of the papa and once the trees and soil have eroded water leaks through and loosens the rock. See the big circle rocks? I wonder if that is why Whanganui River is brown, due to the sediment of the erosion that silently continues and lay on the bottom of the river.

Other things I saw on the sealed road. A pigeon sat on the verge beside me. The beehives were overflowing with bees gathered on the outside of the hive.

A car drove up and asked if they could take me somewhere. “Of course!” I said. They drove me through a tangi group at Ranana, then onto Kawana Mill where we explored the old mill together. It is now a museum with a cottage next to it. It had been restored but first built in 1854. Very interesting and great for people to come and see the story board upstairs.

Oh it was wonderful to have company. Trish and Chris then drove me up to the cafe that was closed and we explored the accommodation area also. Trish and Chris then left sharing good travels to each other before I phoned to get a ‘bach’.

While waiting Charlotte NOBO arrived and we had a cold drink together before she headed out for Jerusalem.

I settled in and began to write up the blogs and an earthquake warning came in, 5.8. It appeared to be centered in Cook Straight or in a nearby region….. And then the bach shook.

It was very pleasant with the sheep, lambs and friendly pigs in the next paddock. Birds chirping away as they only know how and the bees in the red brush tree. The boat River Queen is the one that was in the movies shot on Whanganui River.

And then the sun went down.

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