Because we’d cut Day 10 short we knew we needed to make it to a good sized place today to replenish our food stocks, and also to get ourselves warm (at this stage a shower was definitely all we wanted!) so we made the call to try and make Taumaranui, around 110kms.
The start of the Timber Trail is beautiful, and initially the rain was relatively light, and the track still dry enough. It’s a reasonable climb from the start but gradual, and we made good time to Piropiro Campsite by lunchtime, gratefully received some food dropped off by todays first Trail Angels Don & Robyn, and also met an awesome family from Kaipaki who made us cups of tea (and made our day) and some good chats to get us through the afternoon.
After lunch the trail got a lot heavier and the weather wilder, which slowed progress on the section half of the trail. Huge highlights were the amazing swing bridges (including the longest in the country) and seeing the bush in rain is actually a pretty wonderful sight!
Coming down Ongarue Spiral is also another highlight, firstly that it’s downhill and secondly it’s an amazing feat of engineering!
After conquering the Timber Trail (yes, we did high five that one), we headed down Ongarue Back Road to Taumaranui, a rolling 24kms along a gravel/sealed road through some farms, following the train line - we even saw a train and went underneath it which was pretty neat.
We arrived in Taumaranui after 12.5hours on the bikes, and found a great spot at the Alexander Spa Motel, Alan and Susan are great people and were so helpful to us in helping clean our bikes and organise our stuff. Huge shout out to them!
Big downer of the last few days is that Claire’s phone went for a swim - so no photos or Snapchat updates for us over those few days. Bit of a shame but we will press on and update again in Whanganui!