After a long first day hiking 30kms in hot conditions, we woke at 7am on December 28th to an overcast morning in Putaruru.
Furthermore, on that day we were only hiking 22kms to a town called Tokoroa and were due to pick up our food drop at the post office that I had sent over at the start of December.
New Zealand Post (and I imagine most postal services have this) have a service called Poste Restante.
Essentially, it’s an inexpensive system that allows you to have parcels, letters and messages held, redirected and stored whilst you are visiting the country.
Letters and parcels weighing up to 2kgs and parcels weighing 2-30kgs will be kept free of charge for up to seven days.
Whilst letters and parcels weighing up to 2kgs that are kept from 7 days to 2 months are free, parcels weighing 2-30kgs kept for the same amount of time will incur a $2.50 service fee per week.
Regardless of how long your letter or parcel is kept for, it’s a bloody good service for thru-hikers.
This service is available in many New Zealand Post Offices and one of them happened to be located in Tokoroa.
So, we were due to pick up said parcel later on in the day at around 2:30 pm.
Once again, we were walking on the highway for the second day in a row, however, we had a few things working in our favour.
It wasn’t that far to walk, the conditions were a little cooler and it was mostly flat along the highway.
We stayed at the Tokoroa Motor Campsite that day which is a full-service site for campers, caravaners and campervan-goers.
It’s quite a big property with lots of room to park your car, caravan or pitch your tent, as well as a couple of small communal areas to cook and eat in.
It’s also quite close to the local shops, supermarket and fast food restaurants.
From memory, we arrived in Tokoroa just after 2 pm and went straight to the post office to pick up our food parcel.
But, as luck would have it and seeing as it was the holiday period, the post office was closed on that day (it was a Monday). It wasn’t reopening until the next morning at 9.
This was a little frustrating as we had planned to bring the box back to the campsite, sort out our food into ZipLoc bags and be ready to go for the following day’s hike.
It wasn’t the end of the world by any stretch, but it did mean we had to adjust our plan slightly for that day and we ended up losing an hour in the morning the following day.
What this second day taught us was not everything is always going to go to plan on your hike.
You need to be able to adapt and be ready to react accordingly should something go wrong.
The upside was that it did allow us to cool down a little longer and spend more time at the local supermarket organising dinner for that evening.