Days 87+88 — Kaimai trail
After a couple of lazy days and watching locals at the bottom of beautiful Mount Maunganui we were ready for another hike. I had found a 2-day-loop for us where we would see Kauri trees and sleep in a 12-bed-hut. Kauri trees are the biggest trees in NZ and of course we had to go and see and feel them.
And so we packed our packs again and off we went. And everything was just as amazing as “usual”. Beautiful landscape, green, green, green everywhere, small streams, waterfalls of all sizes and a quite well maintained trail.
When we came halfway to our first junction where the trail to the hut would leave the main trail we weren’t so sure about the “well maintained trail” anymore. Suddenly the trail became totally overgrown and our pathfinding senses came to a test. Luckily they had marked (wonder why?!) the trail with plenty of orange plastic triangles and the game turned into: ‘who can find the next orange triangle?’. Finding the next orange triangle meant we were on the right track and not lost in the wilderness. Additionally it had rained the day before and we were stomping through mud puddles again, but this time you couldn’t see them as they were quite invisible under all the grass and shrubberies.
So we went surely but slowly one step at the time always hoping that we would not only make it before nightfall, but this time actually finding that hut! The brochure categorized the hut as a standard one with just bunkbeds and a toilet and if we were lucky a water tank. Standards huts do not have a fireplace with firewood, porches, benches or sinks. I was fantasising about that hut as the awesomest place in the world. The alternative was to camp out with no tent, two children and a husband in the woods all alone. We have not met any soul on this overgrown and forladden trail.
But don’t worry! After about six hours we not only made it to the hut, we were in for a big surprise! The hut had been completely updated just before christmas. It was freshly painted, a porch and an outdoor sink added and the best of all — A FIREPLACE. A brand new fireplace. How cool was that…and we had it all for ourselves! Thank you volunteers of the Kaimai trail association! They had left a written report about all their efforts and plans for the trail. They want to add about three more huts, update all the current ones, cut down the overgrown parts and shine up the trail so that you could hike for a couple of days. That attracts tourists and has a good impact on the local economy for that region. Sounds perfect.
We were so glad that they had started with that hut! So, we started a cozy fire, stripped out of all our muddy clothes, had dinner and played UNO. Pure ‘hygge’ as it is called in danish. Hygge = extrem coziness. In fact we loved that fireplace so much that it was sauna hot at the end and we had to open windows and the door to not die of hyperthermia.
The next day we made it to the Kauri trees and out of the forest. Another hike well done!