Taupo > Tokoroa > Tirau

18 Dec

FIRST: Be sure to check out the Facebook page for the latest pics: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Give-Phil-5/144617748933460 !!!!

Day 43 – 51.5 km/32 miles later…
(Day 44 – Rest)

Taupo! After raging the Desert Road and finishing my longest run I was feeling really good. So I used that energy and the motivation from staying with awesome Johanna in Turangi to hit the road the next day for 51.5 km straight!  Being on the road along water once again, took my mind off the task and made the run mostly smooth. That was until I went straight onto the arterial route that takes you to highways away from Taupo instead of towards. I blame this on my buddy Matt Evans for distracting me while running with texts from California on the new app we’ve been using. And of course, this new highway/route was NOT on the outdated maps on Google, so when I attempted to find myself on my phone, it suggested I was in the middle of a scenic reserve! Thanks Google 😛 I basically had to hop a couple fences and trailblaze through chest-high brush to get to a street that made any sense on my “smart” phones’s map.
Anyways, I was set to stay with my buddy-from-Korea, Rawiri’s, mom in Taupo. Her name is Janine and she made the stay fantastic. I had decided to rest there for two nights to recover from the previous long runs and from the agony brought on by dropping my Kindle and shattering the screen 😦 That thing was my lifeline, for every stop I took and at least an hour prior to sleeping, I would be reading to my little heart’s desire.
Janine let me vent about this and numerous other life problems I had been lamenting about on my runs, making it easy to tell she is a seasoned mother. She fed me well, gave me Internet access and a comfy bed to sleep in. Huge thanks to Janine for the fine hospitality.

Day 45 – 66.5 km/41.3 miles later…

To Tokoroa for the longest run yet(by two kilometers :-). This evening I was lucky enough to find a host via couchsurfing, Philip, and he was a cool engineer, raised in Tokoroa, living in a house with several other engineers who all work at a local paper mill. We shared our stories, kicked back, and watched some TV for the evening, pausing now and then to share more stories. It was a really relaxed night and a huge thanks to Philip, Russell and the other residents for letting me crash. Wish you the best of luck in the future and hope your travels/couchsurfing experiences are a ton of fun!

Day 46 – 32 km/19.9 miles later…

I arrived to a little town called Tirau and awaited to get picked up by Mrs. Antoinette Steeghs. I also contacted her through couchsurfing and what a great find it was. The second I met her I could tell it was going to be a nice evening, for she was easy-going and bubbly, making the ice-breaking pass with no thought at all. She drove me to their farm outside of Tirau where I met her husband, Jack and eventually met her two sons, Brett and Rory.
As I was just hanging out and kicking back, Antoinette invited me to join her sons on their boat in the local lake to do some water sports. It had been ages since I was on a lake so I jumped on the chance and an hour later we were out there, without a worry in the world. I elected not to hop on the wakeboard, lest I injure myself, but both boys did, along with Bretts friend who also joined us. We finished up and headed back to their farm for dinner and chatted for several hours about tons of different subjects. Eventually we all had to go to bed but it was a great stop for me and the Steeghs family is certainly a great one. I hope to meet up with them again in the near future!  A huge thanks to Antoinette and Jack for the meals, warm bed, and fun conversation. It is greatly appreciated 🙂

Getting closer to being up-to-date on the blog …Slowly but surely!

Thanks for reading,

Big Cat

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