Another bit of jumping around and slackpacking today as we decided to do the Te Awa cycleway into Hamilton. We needed to bus to the start of the trail in Ngaruawahia (where the Hakarimata trail ended) and given it was a Sunday this didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped. We ended up taking one bus to a shopping center and getting stuck there for an hour walking around, so we probably added an extra 2km just doing some shopping (obviously we couldn’t buy anything since we’d just need to carry it).
The track started at the exit of the forest and the intersection of the Waipa and Waikato rivers. We immediately crossed over the Waipa (apparently this isn’t dirty but is brown from the caves that it originates in) and started following the Waikato towards Hamilton. The track meandered nicely along the bank of the river crossing over twice including on one very fancy new bridge. Apparently there’d been some local dispute about land access so the bridge here had been built as a solution.
e continued on down the river and stopped for lunch at a nice spot right by the water. Unfortunately while eating lunch my ankle must’ve cooled down and when we got started walking again the swelling had increased significantly. We decided at that point not to continue on all the way to Hamilton and just cross a small pedestrian bridge that would take us back to where we were staying (same spot as last night). The host’s here are super nice and while we’re bummed to be not getting very far it’s as good as spot as we could hope for to be resting. We’ll likely end up taking another rest day tomorrow to help it heal.