dsc09620-1280x853Hot blueberry, white chocolate and banana muffins with a cuppa were served up by Matt and Jasmijn before we set off.  They were scrumptious.

Learning that Jasmijn dabbles in art illustrations and verse too, with one day perhaps publishing a children’s book had us becoming accountability coaches for each other to make them realized.  I have one on the go and was stuck with verse wordage.  This one encounter helped to bridge the procrastination so there was bounce in the step as we trudged off with a keenness to bring ‘Tilly and Her Imaginary Horse Sparky’ to fruition during the first half of 2017.  If not sooner.

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Man, they were good muffins!

Just as well.  The weather had lifted to give better views of the landscape as we mountaineered over Dome Mountain however, the track would not be so kind to the grip of boot soles.  Today, as much as it was hard work to staying upright, there was slippage and thus caked on mud to both flesh, clothing and accessories.  2 – 1 to Brent!

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After seven hours, grins greeted our grimaces at the Dome Café.  Mike had been waiting for our exit from the forest for nearly two hours; Meg for nearly an hour.  Removing the socks was a mistake as the odour was just terrible, asking the others whom stunk the worst.  2 – 2 draw.

We each ordered a beef burger with an egg and fries.  It was chowed down as quick as if we were in a hot dog eating competition.  Stodgy food is healthy calories in disguise when one consumes a trekkers diet!

Our plan was to now hitch to Puhoi however,  Mike talked us into walking a further 8 kms to a barn loft accommodation; not helped by a local who offered to transport out packs up the road 1.5 kms.  Up being ascent at that.  We were cornered at our weakest moment whilst filling our bellies.  Smelly socks resumed their mould around feet in the boots and off we strode.  Marrying up with our back packs, we marched out a further 7 kms to a home stay where Mike’s promise rang true.  The mezzanine floor above the barn below was a fully self-contained apartment.

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It too was home to the Daddy Long Leg Spider and there were heaps of them in numbers in all sorts of nooks and crannies.  We were too exhausted to be worried by them.  Nor the goats with clanging bells around their neck.  A treat, the host giving us a bottle of goat’s milk for our breakfast in the morning and evening cup of bedtime refreshment.

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It’s all we had to celebrate with given we had reached the 500 km point since our first steps off the Cape.  Only 1,000 kms or so to go before we dip the toes into the Southern waters of Wellington.

Not far now!