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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 8. Nov. 12th. Broadwood to Blackbridge road campsite. 38km.

Hitched the first 21km on the dangerous road section between Broadwood and Mangamuka Road. Can’t even remember the last time I hitched, back in the mists of time. The other 5 who camped at Broadwood were also hitching that section too.

Was lucky to get a ride straight away. Had a nice chat with a lady who had just retired. The 17km hike to Blackbridge Road campsite was along gravel road and then forest track.

Was hot again today. Had a nice swim in a cool forest river. The tiny campsite was very busy, 18 tents, around 22 people. The group that started the day after me at the Cape had reassembled.

New people. Four French and a French speaking guy from Quebec. Am definitely the oldest here. Most are in their 20s and 30s. I’m getting to be known as the Jamie Olivier of the trail. Maybe because of the steak, shallots, capsicum and mushrooms I cooked last night when all around were eating noodles or dehydrated meals. Four months is a long time to be doing that in my view, most are overtaken with a need to minimise pack weight.

The French couple have base packs (before food, water and gas) of 7kg and 8kg which is amazingly light. But they’ve just come from 5 months on the US Pacific Crest Trail or PCT (the Reece Witherspoon movie “Wild”) so are well seasoned.

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