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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 45. Dec 19. Ōngarue to Taumarunui. 26km.

My resolve to walk every section possible was immediately tested when I was offered a lift after going only 100m down the road. Of course I politely said no 😀. It was a lovely day for hiking. The hike to Taumarunui was along very quiet gravel roads and backroads. I was very absorbed in a wonderful audio book called "Flow" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Highly recommended as a manual for an enjoyable life. On the way, there was a message from Jai about a Christmas dinner get together at the Airbnb they were staying. Justin, Sam, Talulah and Riorden would be taking the shuttle down to Taumarunui Canoe Hire campsite. I would be staying in Taumarunui because I was heading back to Huntly the next morning to do the sections back to Auckland that I'd skipped on the way down. Felt a little awkward being between two trail families 🤨 I bumped into Brad from Perth in Taumarunui catching a bus back to Auckland. He’s had enough of the rain and mud and was going home, maybe coming back next year. I had a great time at the Christmas dinner prepared by Alec from Los Vegas and Ren from the Netherlands, not at all intimidated by the French chef (Loic) in their midst.

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