Te Araroa Trail – Day 32

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Distance/ Total: 25.5 km / 15.8 mi

It was definitely a loud night at the Mercer Motel. It was situated by a highway and it seemed that big trucks kept driving by all night. There was even some heavy trucks that shook the ground as they drove by.

I got around slowly this morning and headed to the nearby McDonald’s for some breakfast. The menu was a little different, but I was able to get a bacon & egg muffin and coffee to start off the day.

Leaving town the trail climbed up and over a hill on the outskirts of town. The grass on the trail was overgrown and I could see the pollen puff off the grass as I walked through it. I had flashbacks of the issue with my eye in Colorado earlier this year and hoped for the best. By the time I reached the top of the hill my throat was itching and I was sneezing up a storm. Tim and Jane came up behind me and I let them pass as I tried to get over the sneezing and itchy eyes.

The trail continued to be overgrown until it opened out into a mowed area along the highway. We walked along the traffic for several kilometers before turning back into the overgrown “mess” once again.

The trail followed the Waikato River alongside farmlands for most of the day. The last 8 km into Rangariri was a trail layed out right alongside a rural road through farmland as well. I opted to stay out of the grass and walk along the road into Rangariri.

I reached the town about 4:00 pm and visited with Tim and Jane for awhile before heading over to Cathy’s place. Cathy allows camping in her yard and offers homemade pies. I set up my tent and then got a beef pie and it was delicious. After eating I headed over to the Pub and drank a couple of beers with some of the hikers. Our options for tomorrow night were slim and we finally got the OK from a trail angel in Nguruawahia that we could camp in her yard.

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