On Saturday I set off alone up the Karaka Stream on the northern edge of Thames. The trail doesn’t seem to be used all that much and I didn’t see anyone until the end of the day. As NZ tracks go it wasn’t very over grown and there had been some work done on it in the last year after the floods in June. A few hours in I hit the main ridge track and it suddenly got wider and was beaten flat by the quad-bike tracks. Still it had the very family boggy patches there I am starting to get tired of. I really feel I need proper wellington boots to get around here and that’s a very different case on the PCT, so my motivation was sapped and I decided to make it just a two day trek, hitching out along the valley road rather than returning over the same hill on Monday. I camped out at the Wainora ground in Kauaeranga Valley and did a routine of boiling and treating water. Previously I have found the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 has had a major problem with condensation so I took a few steps to minimize this. I left the tent door wide open, but kept the netting-door closed, I didn’t peg out the inside of the tent so it hung lower and stayed away from the outer wall, and I used my poles rather than pegs to pull the outer wall outwards rather than down.
Sunday I powered up Webb Creek to the Pinnacles in just 2.5 hours, that was fast carrying what I had, and I was sure then that I’d come home that day. It was the right decision. I got a lift really quickly which saved me 14km worth of road walking on a hot day. I drove home and it rained, a lot. Had I been out there in that I’d have been pretty glum. And now my boots, my favourite footwear for the last 4 years have finally died. The thin sole has worn though and I’m impressed they have lasted this far. Kathmandu is a well know camping store here in NZ, but I hadn’t reckoned on their boots lasting so well. I was passing through there a couple of days ago and heard what I’d over heard before “your feet will wear out before these boots will”. It is true that my feet have had holes in them before, but they regenerate, the boots do not.
Lucky for you I carried my camera and Navman GPS unit so I can tag my photos and add them to Panoramio soon-ish.