Escaping the Raetea Forest
After escaping the Raetea Forest I was faced with the gauntlet of the windy State Highway 1 from the saddle towards Mangamuka Bridge. There was a lot more space on the side of the road than I remember from when Gordon and I drove north on our way up to Cape Reinga. A couple of vehicles stopped and asked if I wanted a ride. One of the vehicles had three good-looking Swedish girls inside which made it very difficult to decline the offer.
Then later another car stopped with more girls inside. What is going on? Where are all these girls when I’m looking for them? I can’t successfully take them all on looking like this – no matter what tricks I might have revealed from my backpack.
So the walk to Mangamuka Bridge, apart from the windy road was pretty straight forward and the highlight would have been finding the Steripen that wedged itself behind the packliner out of view. I was so happy to see it. Just means I can drink on the fly instead of carrying water for hours whilst the tablets slowly purify the water. The Steripen was found at the very bottom of my pack and since I took a few heavy falls and bumps in the Raetea forest I was worried it might not work. I tested it that night and it was fine.