34km total 1131km
After a good night of sleep in the dry cabin I got up at 6 and it was soon time to take a decision. It was very foggy and I was not sure about wether the sun would be shining or the rain would b pouring all day long. After breakfast I kind of saw the sun through the fog so I decided to go. After eight kilometers of road walk to reach the northern start the crossing started. First through a rainforest that then made place higher to lower trees and also the first sunshines. The atmosphere was fantastic up there. Still there was very few people but it soon changed as I reached the first saddle and so the beginning of the crowd bubble. As it is advised to start from the south. A big part of the hikers start almost together at the same time. So everyone was at the red crater summit. I made my lunch break and soon got down back as the weather was getting a little bit worse. And soon again I was alone and had the trail almost to myself. I reached the Mangatepopo hut after 6 hours. The recommended time is around 8 so I was satisfied. But I had still a bit to tramp (kiwi hiking) . And the status of this track to Whakapapa was almost not maintened and so in a real bad shape. The 9 kilometers took me 2 hours but the signs say it can take up to 5 hours in bad weather. I then arrived at the holiday park and got an ice cream there. As a Te Araroa hiker I also received a real towel from the staff. It is really the little things that you appreciate after a long day oft hike.