Day 59 - 61. Jan 2 - 4. Taumarunui to Ōwhango. 25km.
On Monday, I said goodbye to Katie, Nick and Tyde at Manukau bus station in Auckland and caught a very full bus to Taumarunui, arriving mid-afternoon. My plan was to do the mandatory briefing at Taumarunui Canoe Hire and drop off my supplies for our Whanganui river trip starting from Whakahoro a week or so later on the 13th. Then I would hike the trail sections from Taumarunui to Whakahoro. There wasn’t enough time to do a shop and catch the shuttle to Taumarunui Canoe Hire on Monday afternoon so I stayed in Taumarunui that night and did the river arrangements the next day. Camped at Taumarunui Canoe Hire on Tuesday night. Awesome place and very busy. There were around 10 TAs there and had some great conversations. Such an eclectic bunch, including a guy who manages wild bears in Alaska. Had the river briefing with 50 others the next morning and set off back on the trail to Ōwhango with a very heavy pack, with supplies for 5 days. It was a nice quiet section over mainly gravelled road through forest and farmland. A very nice restart. At my finish at Ōwhango in the early afternoon, I bumped in to a bunch of 8 TAs ambitiously planning to hitch to Palmerston North that afternoon in the rain. Good luck with that. Camped wild next to the lovely Whakapara river that evening.