20 Mar 2016

Over The Mtn's & Thru The Woods - NZL by valeriepeltier

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Returning the next day, this time it took us less than a half hour to get to the beginning of the walking trails. We had decided to walk a lengthier track since our walk to the redwoods had been shorter than the previous day. We chose the Pohaturoa Trail, marked in yellow arrows with a length of 7.4 km. The weather was warm but the skies were clouded over with a constant misty rain. We had waited out the morning rain in hopes that it would clear up a little but eventually decided to go anyways and embrace the rain.
Starting out along the same section of trail, we followed it until the path split heading in separate directions for each coloured arrow, ours this time around leading us to the right and following along the edge of the parking lot until we reached a hill ascending towards the mountain biking section of the forest.
We passed a terrain park off to the right with several jumps and steep hills where at the top of the hill we turned onto the path again. It brought us past a section of recently planted trees in a clear cut section of land off to our left and an older forest off to our right. For the first bit we remained on the edge of the forest until we finally dipped back in towards the lookout that displayed the geothermal attributes of the town. It was the geothermal area that we had walked to the day before, and realized how close we were, yet how far at the same time since there were no entrances into the park from that side.
Throughout our time on the trail we only passed two other couples who were also braving the rain, or were just unlucky to get caught out in it. Despite the rain Lauren and I were enjoying the trail and excited to have another opportunity to explore further into the redwood forest. At several different points along the trail we crossed over mountain bike trails and equestrian trails, all of which never actually linking into the same trail although sometimes running parallel instead. For the latter half of the trail it opened up from a path onto the service roads that crisscrossed through the park, leading us back towards the information center at the front of the park.
Content with one hike today we made our way back to the hostel and spent the remainder of the day playing ping pong and watching a movie, and taking some well deserved down time.