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  • Writer's pictureDermot O'Brien

Day 9. Nov. 13th. Blackbridge road campsite to Puketi Campsite. 22km.

Toughest section so far but the weather was kind and the bush walk was beautiful. The first few hours in the river were serene. Crisscrossing from scree bank to scree bank without ever getting to knee level. Impassable after rain though.



Was very muddy later. This is the first day when I came across lots of others on the trail.



Up to now, I’ve been solo tramping, which I enjoy and prefer most of the time. The day was beautiful and the trail wild.



Felt fitness increasing and was early to the lovely and spacious Puketi campsite with a wonderful cold shower. I had too much food. One English girl, Laura, didn't have a lot of food for dinner so I cooked double. It was nice to be able to help. The trail gives as it also takes. A guy lent his ute to some of Laura’s friends (Nathan, Josh, Beth and other Laura) so they could go get some supplies. By now, I’ve gotten to know this wider group a bit, having met for two night now.



I think I’ll pass through different groups. Introverts like me are more comfortable with solo hiking. I spoke to Jai and Stacey about this. Others try to coordinate so that they move along together and meet in the evening. I’m on the fence about that at the moment, enjoying the company but relishing not having any need to synch up and just doing my own thing.



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I've started to just post on Instagram at https://instagram.com/dermotobriennz for now and will backfill after the trail. Thanks for following me on my journey.

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