Kapamahunga Walkway and Pirongia Tranverse
Start Point: Old Mountain Road (4.5 km SW from junction with Te Pahu Rd), Whatawhata, West Hamilton
Finish Point: Junction of Pirongia West Rd with Omanawa Stream
Distance: 25km Time: 8 1/2 hours
Today started early with a 4.40am alarm. Jenny who is walking with me today picked me up and we drove to Pirongia (2 hours). Our destination was a lodge that does pick up and drop off for walkers.
We got dropped at the start and it was farm land walking for the first 10km. Some hills and stiles to warm us up. We then caught up to the two Alaskan brothers that are walking the trail that I had met in Mangamuka on Day 7. We chatted about the rain and mud but one of them just said ” I’m just happy to be in New Zealand”. What a great attitude.
We walked on and kept noticing snails on the ground – so many that we started to wonder if this was a snail farm. We then had many sheep and cows to walk through who got a bit vocal. A short forest track offered me a chance to slip on clay and land gently on my butt.
This part finished with a bit of road walking then we started on the Mt Pirongia Track. I had done the up part of this when I was training so I knew what to expect with some steep up hill and muddy sections. Jenny has done plenty of tramping so she was the perfect walk partner for this tough trail.
We made it to the summit and had a good but cloudy view and then had a short break on the balcony of the new hut. Then it was time for the down hill. Which actually didn’t go down much but instead offered more up (including a part with a chain) and lots of undulating very muddy trail. We embraced the mud and walked on through it. I managed to cover my shoes, socks and lower leg thoroughly. There was only about four times where the mud tried to suck off my shoes so that was pretty good.
We made it out on to the road at 4.30pm and waited for our pick up ride. It gave we a chance to scrap mud of myself and my shoes.