We woke on the morning of January 3rd, 2016 to the sound of more rain. In fact, it hadn’t stopped all night.
At this point, we had come so far – 180kms to be exact – that we were over caring about things like wet clothes and the like.
After breaking camp, and before really getting stuck into hiking our way to Tokaanu, our first port of call was to find the nearest stream to refill our respective water supplies.
On our map, we had found a small stream a few kilometres up the road that would be suitable to filter water from.
On our way there, we walked past a farm and thought we’d ask them instead. As luck would have it, they were more than happy to allow us to use their tap to fill up.
At the 7km mark, we had reached the end of State Highway 32. From here, we turned left and hiked a further 17kms to Tokaanu.
The rain aside, it was also a misty and cold day, and as we were hiking on the road again, we needed to be really careful of the traffic.
The first half of this road was a gradual incline. As an aside, we saw some random abandoned car that was clinging to the side of a hill.
Once we had hit the peak and began to make our way down into Tokaanu, it made it a little trickier to walk on the side of the road.
It was doable, but we constantly had to look back and make sure there wasn’t a car coming such was the room on the side of the road.
As we made our way further down the road, the mist began to disappear and the sun started to come out. This definitely put a smile on our faces.
However, Nelson had stepped in a pothole on the way down and had rolled his ankle slightly, which put him in a slightly shitty mood.
As we hiked our way into Tokaanu, Nelson was managing his ankle the best he could, and Matt’s body was starting to ache.
But where they thought we were staying that night, and where we were actually staying that night, were completely different.
As mentioned in the previous blog, Keith and I had a small surprise waiting for them once we had reached our destination.
We had originally planned on camping at a designated free camping spot that night, but Keith and I had noticed the night before that Matt and Nelson weren’t as lively as they had been on previous days.
So, taking that into account, we booked ourselves into the Tokaanu Lodge Motel (by the way, it’s a great motel run by great people).
We were walking into Tokaanu and stopped a few metres away from the motel so they couldn’t see it.
I asked them if they wanted the good news or the bad news first. They wanted the bad news.
“The bad news is that I’ve dragged you all this way out to New Zealand on this trek,” I said.
Keith gave them the good news: “The good news is that we can stay right here tonight.”
They weren’t from being pissed off and tired to deliriously happy within a matter of seconds.
I think what I personally learnt from that day is that sometimes you have to know your limits and know when to give your body a well-earned rest.
Granted this luxury may not be available to some hikers when they’re in the middle of nowhere, but sometimes it’s not a bad idea to take advantage of your surroundings if it helps repair your body.
Initially, I considered doing something like this as a form of ‘cheating’, but it was the right thing to do by Matt and Nelson so we could complete what we had come here to do together.