Day 47: Zero in Taumarunui
Tuesday, December 26, 2023 10:31 pm
Location: Taumarunui / Alexander Spa Motel (1056.5 km)

After fifteen days without a break, we stayed in Taumarunui for rest and chores.

  • After sleeping in a bit, we tried to extend our booking for another night. Unfortunately, the motel is sold out tomorrow night, so we can’t stay here. Fortunately, we found another motel, conveniently located across the street, that we could stay at tomorrow.
  • We got breakfast at the Bakehouse Cafe, getting there just in time; after we ordered and sat down, a long line of people showed up. Food was good, but expensive for New Zealand.
  • Our motel has a laundry, so we washed our clothes, which were really starting to smell bad after being wet for two days continuously.
  • We called Taumarunui Canoe Rentals to let them know we were in Taumarunui, to ask a few questions, and also inquire as to cycling from Pipiriki to Whanganui. This cleared up some questions we had on the schedule. We arranged to give them our resupply boxes for the river stretch we’ll be on when they came into town at 3:30 to shuttle hikers to their place just outside town for overnight camping and tomorrow morning’s safety/information briefing. We also arranged for them to pick us up tomorrow morning at 6:30 am to take us in for the briefing, and then we’ll walk back to town so that we don’t have a 4 km gap in our hike. (Normally, hikers would stay at their place, which has cabins and tenting options, but we want a continuous path.)
  • We went to the New World supermarket to do our resupply for the Whanganui River section. While we were there, we ran into many of the hikers we’d been hiking with before Auckland. Some of them are skipping ahead to start the Whanganui River tomorrow; others are hiking through like us and will start later.
  • After getting our food, we went back to our motel room to reorganize and repack it, and went to the liquor store across from the New World to wait for the shuttle to the canoe rental place to give them our food.
  • Then, we got lunch at McDonald’s, and got sandwiches at the gas station for dinner later.
  • After that, we had a mostly lazy evening, though we still had some planning to do for Taumarunui through Whakahoro, the start of the Whanganui River for us. Upcoming weather is not going to make this easy for us.