Day 43 – Heat, Rain, Thunder, Lightning, Hail

For the first time on this trip we had to actually wake up to an alarm. We needed to arrange for the upcoming canoe section before leaving Taumaranui and part of that was attending a safety briefing at 730 at the rental shop. The rental shop was on the route but it was about 5km from where we were so we got started early to log the distance and get there in time. The briefing was short and we got everything set up for the canoe, in about six days hiking from now we’ll be doing a five day canoe on the Whanganui river. They shuttled us back into town where we bought food for both the upcoming days hiking and the canoe. Buying for the canoe was really hard as they tell you to buy more than you think and buy a lot of items you’d never carry. Since it’s all sitting in a waterproof barrel in your boat you don’t have to worry about weight or quantity. It was very hard to shop for both heavy and lightweight at the same time. We set out from the canoe shop around noon after snacking on some pastries from the grocery store. We had about 25km of road to walk and it was really hot and humid out. There was some good views and we saw an emu which followed along next to me for awhile but other than that it was just really hot. With 10km left to go we reached some clouds that we’d been approaching for awhile. Not long after we started hearing a lot of thunder and not long after that we saw lightning in the distance. We kept going and soon found ourselves taking shelter under some trees on the side of the road as a torrential downpour passed over us which included giant hail balls striking down and hitting our heads. These hurt pretty bad and were easily the size of a golf ball. This eventually passed and we headed down and through Owhango (which doesn’t have a store despite what the notes say) and just passed the town to our campsite. We’re at a little spot right by the river and the start of the 42 Traverse.

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