Oct 4 day 34 stealth site to Waitomo Campsites 32 km 7:00-3:00
Woke early and, even though it was Sunday, I started hiking right away so as not to get caught trespassing. I wanted to get to Waitomo, and so proceeded at a good pace. First part was a farm road which soon became a pasture road, which soon became a wet muddy trail that was not well marked. Slipped and slid a good bit. This area is not far from the western coast so it gets strong cold winds off the water. In the mist and fog, I missed one turn and ended up floundering around in a sheep pasture until backtracking to find the right way. Then because of some rerouting of the TA, and my lack of desire to once again dive into the mud, I followed the suggested road detour into Waitomo, arriving in time to pitch a tent at the campground, get a hot shower, and a good meal-the Huhu cafe served up a dinner as good as anything I have ever eaten, the side of Parmesan gnocchi was perfect. Plan a short day tomorrow into Te Kuiti where I hope there is a decent outfitters. Right on schedule –at 500 miles– my shoes have both blown out and I do not trust them for the next long stretch.