Day 17 – Wednesday 29th October

Ngunguru Connection and Mackerel Forest Track and Pataua North Connection

Start Point: Waiotoi Road, Ngunguru

Finish Point: Footbridge over Pataua River, joining Pataua North and Pataua South

Distance: 28km Time: 5 1/2 hours

Today I woke up to thunder and lightening oh no! We all packed up and Kevin and Anne dropped me off in Ngunguru where I meet Kirsty who was walking with me today and Matt who was going to row us across the Estuary.

It was a short row across and it felt nice to be sitting down. We then walked along the sand bar sinking quite deep into the sand. We then managed to find a trail that led out onto the road. Quite a long road walk where we had a few friendly locals say hello and ask what we were doing. I think they thought it was strange we were in the area walking but also that we were out in this terrible weather.

We then had a 4km track through Mackerel Forest. This is when it really started bucketing down and the thunder was right above us. We had two river crossing but the track was quickly turning into a stream itself. The first part of the track was clay and it stuck to our shoes making us feel like we had huge soles on our shoes.

After the forest it was road walking again on a very quiet road. It was still raining hard but at 12pm we came around the corner and saw a bus shelter so we managed to have a dry place to have something to eat.

Walking again, the rain eased off and stopped. We started drying off but then started getting sore feet from all the road walking. We made it to the finish point footbridge at Pataua and then it rained hard again rrrhhhh!

Luckily Matt was back to pick up Kirsty and I. We also took Maryanne and Hannah in as they were finishing for the day too and would have got drenched setting up their tent. Kirsty and Matt have been so kind and we are very thankful for their generousity letting us stay.

In the afternoon it did fine up and we hung out all our gear to dry out. I’m hoping it doesn’t rain too much tomorrow.

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