Oct 5 day 35 Waitomo to Te Kuiti 16km 8:30-12:00
The campground had some revelers last night, my countrymen, who kept everyone up late. For once the sun was shining first thing in the morning and everything was relatively dry, just a faint dew. Was easy to smile. Decided to have a big breakfast before heading out, and got just that at the Morepork Cafe (Morepork is an owl). The hike over was beautiful, up and down pasture hills. The surface has dried out considerably, and for some reason, the cattle farmers have their cattle clustered in smaller fields, so the large pastures are not yet torn up. Also I wonder if the karst geology here helps it drain better. I don’t know why, but it was some good firm dry walking out there today. Arrived in Te Kuiti with the goal to find new shoes– circled the town in search of possibilities including two farmers supply stores. Decided gum boots were not a good substitute, neither were patent leather loafers, so I’m going to chance the next section with blown out shoes. Will take duct tape. Spent a quiet afternoon after the great shoe hunt just resting up. The next few days are going to be complicated as there is no camping for 60+ km and a lot of road walking. My solution is to stay here two nights. Arranged with Val, local transport driver to get picked up by her brother Al (yes, Val and Al– not many letters allowed in that family) at the end of tomorrow’s walk and be dropped back there first thing the next morning. Then I just have a big push that do to the next camping area. Not a cheap solution, but a solution nevertheless.