A text from Mike who we canoed with down the Wanganui River advised that due to the pending weather bomb, he was not going to attempt the Tararua Ranges but instead, make his way to Wellington.  We offered a night in our six-berth bunk room to share a comfy mattress bed as a transit stopover and that just down the road, there was a fish and chip shop.

Mid-afternoon, there was a knock at the door.  Mike arrived and he had brought a fellow walker guest, Jonielle from the US.  There were enough single beds for everyone.

Jonielle was a seasoned walker having completed parts of the Pacific Crest Trail in the US.  It’s fun to watch facial expressions when you ask how our trail compares.  Nearly everyone admits that ours is by far harder terrain wise.

With the inclement weather to continue into the tomorrow, the plan was for us to hitch a train just up the line to Waikanae.  Nick who we thought would take another day to descend out of the Tararua Ranges had humped it out in totality and was now waiting for us to catch him up.

As the heavens opened up, we brought in four pairs of boots and placed them in the toilet off the bunkroom.

Can you imagine the stench when boot odour meets fish and chip odour?

Nothing compares!