Day 8 – On the Road

A relatively easy day compared to the forests. We started out in the farmers campsite with a very foggy morning and quickly decended down on to Motorway 1 that runs all the way to the Cape. Today was about 13km along the road which rolled up and down through farmland. Lots of good views and many fenced off cows (as opposed to yesterday’s interactions). We hit the very small town of Mangamuka for an early lunch. They had a small “dairy store” there that was pretty much the center of town. As small as it was it did serve a wide range of very hiker friendly food (fish & chips, pies, chocolate). I grabbed a pie and Heather had a cold sandwich with a Coke that she noted was made with actual sugar and not corn syrup as in the US. We also met our first other thru hikers at the store, they’d started a day later than us and have already caught up… their packs look much lighter than ours. They’re out from Milwaukee and were happy to see us as we were also the first other thru hikers they’d seen so far. We ate lunch with them and then got going with the second half of the day. The trail quickly turned off the road and started to head up a farm path and entering the beginning of the Omahuta Forest. We got to camp pretty early, spent some time working on our feet and chatted with the other American couple who we’re camping with tonight. Tomorrow we head into the Puketi forest (our final Northern forest) and then Kerikeri the following day!

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