The route for Day 8: Pureora Forest to Taumarunui.
Distance 111km. Altitude gained 1638m
No pies eaten but I got a pizza in Taumarunui.
The morning dawned cool & clear. My gloves were still wet so to keep warm I wore my rain jacket until 11. I had a 400m climb to the top broken by the all important place where there was mobile reception. I wrote yesterday's blog & sent it to Nat to update, getting going again to warm up.
At the top were 2 older guys doing track maintenance, so I stopped for the usual chat. They keep the trail in great shape considering the amount of use it gets.
The track tops out at 971m so the bush is stunted & windswept. I spied some interesting blue fungi as I lost altitude. The trail runs through a real mix of NZ, from untouched bush, logging cut over, regenerating forest, pines & farmland.
I saw no-one else until I rode into Taumarunui at 4.30pm for an early dinner. A family approached me, the parents interested in my adventures. Turns out they're from Cambridge & the 2 girls go to Cambridge High School. They don't know the librarian! They're paddling the Wanganui River for the next 3 days.
11km out of town, on my route is a horse camp that I have helped train leaders for. The family still own the farm and allows bike riders to stay, so a quick call to Heather and I have a bed for the night. Even
better a shower and washing machine.
I am now heading into the heart of the Whanganui National Park. This means hills, beauty & remoteness. There will be no blog until Sunday night or Monday. I have a rendezvous with a jet boat at 8.30am Sunday. The route takes in 32km of the river and the place is renowned for mud.