Day 21 – Waterlogged

We woke up to the other hikers coming down to wash in the morning, it really wasn’t that late but I guess if you have a morning routine in the forest you’re going to stick to it. We actually ended up breaking camp before them and haven’t seen them since so I assume we’ve gotten ahead of them. The hiking started out on finishing the Dome trail which pretty much went straight up to the summit of the Dome Forest (there wasn’t really a dome but that’s what it was called). There were some good views from the top though and we enjoyed the random pieces of trail that had board walk, we never figured out why they’d placed them in these random spots as the trail seemed just as rough on either side. As we passed over the viewing point for the Dome we started to come down steep stairs and were passing some day hikers out for an early morning walk. Anticipation was building as we knew the Top of the Dome Cafe was at the end of the trail and that we must be getting close but we weren’t sure if it’d be open on the 1st. But then we came across this sign and were greatly relieved (although everything had a 10% surcharge for being a holiday…). Handicapped by that, we both indulged in a light second breakfast and small bowl of coffee. We covered some pretty good distance over the rest of the day with the goal of getting to Puhoi for the night (a little over 35km in total). The track was mostly old farm track which is a not to bad combination of gravel and mud. This was okay until it started to torrentially downpour on us. Apparently they haven’t had rain here for awhile so the locals were excited but we were soaked. It looked like there were some great views but unfortunately everything was clouded in. The rain slowed us down but didn’t dampen our spirits and we eventually made it to the Puhoi swing bridge and completed the final track coming in over and down to Puhoi. The historic Puhoi pub was about to close but the bartender gave us four large bottles of Tui to help us through the night (way more than we needed and we actually ended up passing one on to someone else). The pub had some historic and well intoxicated locals outside so on the recommendation of the bartender we snuck around the side and cooked our dinner under a little tent set up. The rain finally cleared enough to set you our tent and we made it to bed without getting anything more wet than it already was.

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