It is only 10am but I have stopped for a rest and breakfast. Triple chocolate cookie time biscuits are great. I am at a lovely spot quite low on the ascent of the Hakarimata range. There is a seat here under a couple of big pine trees looking out over bush, farmland and the Waikato River.
As I left Huntly this morning I passed a parked car full of children ranging from about 4 to 8 years old. They greeted me eagerly as I came past and wanted to know if I was in "The Amazing Race" - the power of television. One of them also wanted to know what my breathing device was for so I squirted some water out of it and explained it was in fact my drink system.
Soon after leaving the lookout I took the right hand fork in the track and headed for a Kauri grove. It had two big trees and lots of little ones. Then there were more steps leading to the upper lookout. The steps were quite narrow, barely shoulder width for me and it seemed awkward with my Leki's.
The upper lookout had a view of the Waikato running north to Huntley, after a short stop I headed south along the ridge towards Hakarimata Peak from where I would turn east down to Ngaruawahia. It was a funny day, very hot but also raining at times. I was little short on water so had to ration myself carefully.
The ridge track was easy to follow but at times quite slow going due to the large numbers of roots under-crossing the path. For most of it the drone of vehicles on SH1 was a background noise. I passed by last Kauri tree just above the old dam on the descent to Brownlee Ave. From there it was a short road walk into the town centre.
The Kauri Grove I detoured to.
I climbed many many of these steps to reach the summit ridge.
Looking north towards Huntley from the lookout on Hakarimata.