Te Araroa, Day 16 Wednesday 24th October Helena Bay > Morepork Track Lookout, KM 296.8 > 312.2 Distance Walked Today: 15.4km Erin was keen to get off to an early start, so she was up and ready to go by about 7, but i struggled a bit and wasn’t ready until about 7:30-8. The first section of today was a brisk road walk for half a kilometre and then we ascended into steep farmland. The detergent to clean your feet against Kauri Dieback was empty, so we scrubbed our feet with the brush as best we could and continued on. We managed to get lost nearly immediately. I’m not sure exactly where we deviated from the correct path, but some ways up we saw the correct path from where we were, and we scrambled down animal tracks along a steep bank to get back on track. From here on out, although the path was better defined, it was no easier with intense ups and downs involving many rests to reach the top. The four hikers from yesterday, as well as Liz, Charlie and a Kiwi guy who’s name I forget passed us today as we were doing this climb. At the very top of Helena Ridge Track we had a well earned rest before continuing. The track was now through farm land, near the start of which some kind soul has offered a cleared patch of land to camp and even supplied a tank of clean drinking water! Not far after this we passed the Dutch guys who had decided to camp up for the day. After meandering down through farm land, past some turkeys who gobble back when you gobble at them, and along a short road, it was on to the Morepork track. This proved to be easier than Helena Ridge, but was still slow going. By 6 pm or so it was getting pretty late and we decided to call it a day and camp at what we thought would be the last possible camping spot before town. We found the flattest section of grass and set up camp. The sounds of animals and birds, and probably simply tree branches falling, kept my on edge a little bit, so when a hiker trudged loudly straight past our tent it startled me to say the least.