We have been very fortunate with the fine weather. Waking this morning, the rain had eventuated and the heavens shed torrents from above. We held off for a slight easing before we stepped off into puddles.
Up a gravel road, down a drive, climb up and over a fence using a style and then up into the pea soup mist we sloshed. Farmland transitioned into rain forest (how appropriate) which gave us shelter from the wind buffeting the bodies along some ridgelines. A rest stop was short as the droplets from tree foliage are large and penetrate the even the best Gortex apparel.
Native bush looked just as radiant within 5-10 metres; anything beyond that faded into oblivion. They say the view from the top is quite spectacular. We had to imagine this to be true. A helicopter landing pad and telecommunications radar tower indicated we had summited.
With the wet came an obstacle track made sloshy under foot from clay mud. It made for slower trekking so as not to arse up head over heels either from slanted gradients or slippery tree roots. Perspiration greeted rain soaked cloth however, we were warm and content.
Made more so when we arrived at Jasmijn and Matt’s homestay. A welcoming smile accompanied the cup of hot chocolate. The offer to sleep in their barn garage given the continued drizzle was accepted followed by a hot shower to warm up the chills. The beer and nibbles to converse with them and their children a kindly gesture to learn about their change of lifestyle north of the big city Auckland. Free range eggs from the six hens begged the question why some eggs were bigger than others given all the chooks were the same size!
Hibernating back to the barn, the remaining couple of hours before shut eye was spent playing “I spy”. I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘S’.