Days 39 to 44: Ramarama to Hamilton.

From the campground in Ramarama it was onto Mercer and the wak up the Waikato river to Hamilton 4 days of roads and rough tracks through farmlands and along stop banks that were hard to follow. Many TA walkers skip this section, it was good to do though punishing on the body, Hard roads, trails that were a minefield of hoof holes waiting to snag an ankle and plenty of livestock. The trail travels Ramarama, Mercer, Rangiriri, Huntly, Ngawawhahia the onto Hamilton. Day 1 I was followed by a goat which broke free from its leash to join me, the highlight of day 2 was the pint of mac’s gold that went down faster than could be poured followed up with a Rangiriri Pie which was more than deserving of its status as one of the country’s best pies. Grumpy bulls waiting to harass walkers on the 3rd day then the welcoming ladies at the Huntly west community center on day four, the fortress for a dairy just before Huntly hinting I had entered the hood (that’s what the ladies called it, not any worse than Brighton). Then onto the bright lights of Hamilton. The quality of the water changes wildly as you move up the river brown sludge through the farmlands to almost crystal clear through Hamilton, I don’t think it matters how much work goes into separating the cows from the waterways and rivers, a lot of effort has gone into fencing and planting, milk production and rivers just can’t coexist. Today onto Whatawhata then back into the wild, forecast is for a wet week ahead so mud spa here I come. (THANK GOODNESS for GOOD GEORGE)

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