Day 40 Tokamaru Shelter – Cairn Camp

20Nov, 16km

Because I arrived into the shelter at 7:45 last night and the camp was all tucked in for the night I ate a cold dinner. I didn’t want to disturb the camp with me rustling around. Kat was the only other person in the shelter and two others were outside in their tent.

Tokamaru Shelter
Kat, what a trail blazer.

The farm owner woke the camp asking everyone if they have seen any hunters. No hunting on his land he really meant business when Kat said she saw hunters with their dog.

I left at 7:00 knowing the hike up the Makahika Track would be a gradual climb up to 671 meters above sea level. Also it would be similar mud, bog and just as slippery as yesterday, in fact it was worse.

The walk started on gravel road for 4 km then stepped into Tararua Forest.

It passed a reservoir.

Let the party begin! Beautiful bush, large rimu, lots of ferns, muddy and boggy.

The track
The boots
A bivvy tucked away.

As I picked myself up and wiped myself off after another track tumble I heard ‘kia ora’ from behind. A young fellow was trail running, he stopped to chat and said I’ll see you on my way down. He said there’s a nice lunch stop up ahead. On his way down I discovered he is in final year of medicine and starts on Mon at Palmy Hospital. We all need a Doctor on the track! He enquired about my fall since he saw me getting to standing from being upside down like a snail.

Tui explained he took a year off to learn te reo and he also walked the TA south Island last year. He said don’t let this fall put you off challenging tracks, give it a go. He asked about the bump in my head. Argh that was yesterday.

Tui the Doctor

I did stop for lunch at the spot.

The view
The lookout
The elevation up and then straight down

The last part of the walk was crossing streams many times, the mud was less. Very pretty and from ankle deep to knee deep water. From a trickle to 3 metres across and medium flow and current. The track markers were difficult to follow over trees across the track since the meander along and beside the Makahika Stream was quite random.

A lot of river crossings at the end today, lots of trees across the track, and boggy. I went knee deep at one time in the gluggy mud. Real hard to extract a foot with boot still on.

I finally made it into a clearing where a family had set up camp. They poured me a coffee before I set up camp. The mud was washed away in a little stream behind the bush. A toilet here also.

A reflection on the day. I’m not a tramper but love the bush. Long days are not for me day after day. There is too little time to restore and explore when you arrive after 4 or 5.

My purpose for this trip was to enjoy these places few people get to experience. Although the bush is much the same in each of the forests, large beautiful trees, birds, ferns with lovely filtered light the experience is different everyday.

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