Day 56 – The Mountains Are Coming

We woke up to these little fellas (I think they’re Muscovy ducks) waddling around the campsite. They didn’t really bother us but were pretty entertaining to watch parading around.


It was a pretty cold morning as the sun didn’t really hit the campsite area and when we got out onto the road it was windy and exposed, very similar to how we finished yesterday. I was again wearing the buff on my head in replacement of a hat. We started off with a little under 12km of walking on road almost directly into the sun to get to the town of Fielding. The road was about as enjoyable as it has been for the past two days and walking into the sun didn’t help things. Towards the end of this stretch we started to get some good cloud coverage (along with a few drops of rain), which was a pleasant relief.

Arriving in Fielding right in time for brunch we decided to stop and get a second breakfast (places were actually open this time) and enjoyed a full meal plus coffee and dessert at the Focal Point Cinema cafe. Fielding was a small but nice town and big enough to have it’s own Countdown supermarket, which we stopped in after brunch to pick up some food for lunch.

Coming out of Fielding we again had a long straight stretch of road to get to the next village (Bunnythorpe) and this time had to cross a train track several times, cut down off the road to cross a bridge (confusingly the trail specifically cut off the road right before the bridge and then back on right after), and managed to get rained on enough that we put on some rain gear (we took it all off ten minutes later when the sun came back out).

The only thing worth noting about Bunnythorpe was that this was where the original Glaxo factory of Glaxosmithkline was built (and is still standing). After passing this we turned towards Palmerston North and traversed a bit of farm land before hoping back on the road again.

The trail took us around the edge of Palmerston North and then cut back across on a walkway by the river. The walkway was really nice and much better than tramping through the center of the city. It especially helped that at the end of the walkway we would head towards a house that hosts TA walkers and get a bed, shower, laundry, and all of the other luxury’s involved with being under a real roof.

Once reaching our destination I borrowed one of the hosts bycicles and headed to Countdown to resupply for the next part. We’ve finally reached the end of the road and will be starting the Tararuas!

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