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Mercer to Rangariri

Thanks very much Alex and Anke for picking me up at Mercer and dropping me back there so that I could continue hiking south. I really appreciated that very much. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Kereru Farmstay and could easily have relaxed there for a lot longer.So, I continued hiking south from Mercer and as usual I made good use of my walking poles. I was half way across the bridge over the highway when a friendly Maori guy drove up next to me whilst I was hiking and said “Long way to the snow from here ay-bro!”. Once again the Maori ski pole joke was voiced again. The same joke has followed me all the way from Cape Reinga. I lost count of how many times someone has commented on my ski poles which are of course hiking poles. The first time it was funny (as I mentioned months ago) but now it’s just expected.

Actually the way the guy said it, as he drove alongside me whilst I was hiking, was quite funny because he went to the extra trouble of winding down his window in advance too and leaning right over to deliver his “original” joke. So, ski poles in hand and I continued on. It was very noisy. I can’t really say much for hiking down State Highway 1, except that there were plenty of friendly drivers who went by and some of them even offered me a lift!

Finally I left the highway and hiked toward the Waikato River. Peaceful at last! I hiked along the river for hours and sometimes the track became a bit overgrown but it wasn’t too bad.

IMG_5130R (620x465)IMG_5138R (620x465)There was a short section of gorse along the way but nothing compared to some parts further north. Shortly after that it poured down on me for a short time. Since it was a hot day I didn’t mind being wet.

I reached Rangariri Pub and stayed there the night. Another great day out!

Ian, I’m not sure if you’re still following the blog, but if you are – thanks for your help with my last return. A weight off my shoulders.

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