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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 43. Dec 17. Ngaherenga Campsite to Piropiro Flats. 42km (bike).

A day that was tough, exhilarating and miserable all in one. First of two days on the Timber Trail by mountain bike with only day packs, our packs transported by the bike hire people. The day started overcast as we excitedly got hold of our bikes, dropped off for us at Pureora. We set off through the forest. Was such a welcome change to walking all day. We climbed steadily for a few hours with the rain coming and going. Then it was all downhill and what a blast that was. The e-bikes has an advantage on the uphill but we blazed past them on the downhill. Justin measured our top speed at 56kph. I thoroughly enjoyed the rush of high speed downhill on narrow and muddy forest tracks in the pouring rain. But at around 35km, it got tedious in the relentless rain. I was first to Epic Camp where we were to leave our bikes for the night, waiting for the others in a shelter, and not looking forward to pitching my tent in the rain. We hiked for about a km to the DOC camp at Piropiro Flats, and what a miserable place to camp in the pouring rain. There were two small shelters but hunters had claimed them as their personal areas, utes parked right against the shelter and quad bike parked inside. I went over and challenged the guy at one of the shelters. It was pouring rain and we had nowhere to shelter and cook out of the rain. At first he didn’t budge but then he said he’d move the quad bike when he went hunting. So we quickly pitched our tents and the when the hunter and his son left, we were able to get out of the rain. It was really nice to be in a group and share our misery. In our tents at 6pm with the rain unrelenting all evening.

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