What a beautiful gold sunrise over Ngunguru estuary this morning! Pity I have to walk 13km all the way round by road to get about 2 or 3 km south of where I currently am. Mary who owned the B&B offered me her small row-boat. She said I could row it over to her sons place across the estuary. I liked the idea of it.
The only problem was that there would be another bit of land in the way before getting to Horahora River and how would I then cross that? So that plan was scratched. Her son James later met me on the road and offered me a lift to another trail but I said I would keep walking. I thought it was really nice of him to stop and talk about the options available.
My trail notes said that the Mackerel Forest Track was open so into the forest I went. A few days later I checked the trail notes online and saw that they had closed this section. Someone must have complained about it after I had printed the notes and I could see why the trail was now closed (because nobody can get through it without having to make their own trail!).
I could hardly get through the overgrown mess that lay in my way. Such thick gorse! My options were to jump into the deep river which I tested with my poles. The river had thick mud in areas too, which my boots got stuck in on a few occasions and I really struggled to get out of it. What to do? Do I turn back after all the effort of getting here?
The day was coming to an end so a plan had to be made. I’ll keep pushing through all these thorns. Scratched up and really fed up with this trail. This is not hiking! From now on I’m going to bypass any trail that has the word overgrown in it’s description. My backpack took a real beating because I wore it in front of me to shield off as many thorns and prickles as possible. I had no way of seeing what my feet were doing and several times I nearly fell face first into the thorny gorse because my feet got tangled up in the undergrowth. Why would anyone declare this trail open? I cursed here and there.
The trail was different to the one on the map too which was confusing. I eventually found my way out of
that mess and when I climbed back to the top of the hill I could see over the other side to where I had started
the forest track 1.9km way. What! All that bush bashing and hours later I am less than 2km away.
How annoying! But at that moment a great sunset was unfolding. This was my reward I thought.
The sunset lasted for a long time and the colours just kept getting stronger and stronger. I was happy to be viewing such an amazing display of colours from up on the hill where all the forest trees had been felled.
I scraped away at the ground to make it level enough for my tent and I set up after dark. A full moon was out so no need for a headlamp tonight. I was too tired for dinner. My legs felt sunburnt from all the thorns tearing away at them throughout the day. Tomorrow will be a better day although a lot of it will be road walking.