Thu 28 to Fri 29 January – Day 76 – 77
I have a treat in-store for today. My mate Jon is the Operations Manager at Premier House, the Wellington home of the serving Prime Minister and family. Jacinda is not in residence today so I have the privilege of a guided visit. Not to their private apartment, however I do get to visit the ground floor state rooms and the grounds. And not sure if they have ever had a backpacker entering Premier House from Tinakori Road before. This afternoon is spent sheltering from the wind and drizzle working on my blog, before Jon collects me for the ride back to the Kapiti Coast. The next two nights I spend with Kelly Jon and family. TA hikers are arriving from their Tararua Range experiences. They report on deep mud and challenging climbs and descents but this is tempered by extraordinary views from the tops such as Mt Crawford, 1462m. Edie and I go to meet Max at a local cafe as he walks past enroute to the Paekakariki and the escarpment track. It is great to see him, plus surprise hikers Kaz and Rob, some of my favourite TA peeps. Afterwards we find Coastlands where I stock up for the Tararua ranges and make pizzas for dinner.
Tomorrow – heading to Levin for the Tararua’s