Later that day, we packed up the horses and headed towards Te Aroha to spend the night camping at the start of Thompson"s Track. It's an old stock route that crosses the Kaimai ranges and ends up at Katikati.
The wind roared and there were some heavy downpours of rain. It's rained a lot up there in the past couple of weeks. In hindsight, we should have pulled the plug and gone home but hey, once daylight came, it didn't seem too bad!
We hadn't long got on the horses when the top came out of a tree across the paddock from us but we carried on. Riding to the summit was pleasant. It was quite sheltered in the bush and we were beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about.
Then we came across the first of the mud holes. We all negotiated that fine, but the slip not far along was too much for Michelle's Duke and they went down in the mud. Brave Michelle climbed back on and we continued on to the hole in the picture below.
The off roaders play on the track and the bigger the holes, the better they like it. Not long after this though, Michelle wanted to go home so we all turned back. It was the smart decision as it was only going to get worse. A couple of the men rode through the slips and holes on the way back, but I got off and let Twinkle find her own way through while I tip toes round the side. She is proving to be one very good wee pony.
I think we will make it at the end of Summer................it's taken a week to return all the gear to some sort of clean!