We were up and ready to go for 8am but had coffee and chats with Hugh and Ros so it was 9am befire were were on our way.
Hugh guided us across the remaining part of the estuary and we went barefoot as he suggested. He carried a bucket and a towel over for us to clean our feet before putting on our shoes. Such a lovely man who clearly enjoys his interaction with the TA hikers.
Then we climbed and climbed and climbed. It is hard work for my old heart to go straight up in the morning especially when it is so hot.
A Trail Angel at the top advised us to fill our water bottles to the brim from her tap as we had a long hot day ahead of us. Thanks Sue.
Then we went down the other side of the “mountain” thankfully through the bush. Because after that we had 6km in 30 degrees along Ocean Beach.
At about 4km mark we had had enough of the soft sand and heat so tried to take a shortcut over the sandhills to a road. However, even though the road was only 500 meters away, there was private land to cross. The signs and full circle cameras made it quite clear that even a couple of harmless older ladies were not welcome.
So we walked along a track that had some vegetation for a km or so. This was better that the beach for sure as when we had to get back there it was soooooo very hot. We both decied that this beach walk was much harder than the Ninety Mile Beach, probably because it was so much hotter and the sand softer.
I felt like swimming in the ocean but it is too much bother taking packs, shoes and clothes off.
Eventually we rounded a point and found some surfers who we chatted with. They were in awe of what we were doing and offered us a lift into Whangarei. Good score.
We needed a day in Whangarei to do a bit of shopping and resupply for the next section. My cousin Josh and his partner Laura kindly agreed to take in 2 smelly ladies for a couple of nights and gave a free range to wash all of our clothes and resort gear.
We paraded around in Josh’s shorts and Tshirts and not much else. Family are great.
Josh cooked hamburgers for dinner and we had bought a big tub of ice-cream to share.
Day 22 Zero day in Whangarei.
All cleaned and refreshed we borrowed Josh’s car and went shopping
- Food for dinner tonight
- New shorts for me as mine are falling off me
- Nose pad for my glasses
- New socks for Frances as hers too hot
- Ankle strap for me. Just for some security
- Food for next few days
Then an afternoon to do the administration duties. I made contact with a mate, Wayne, from New Plymouth who knows people who work at Marsden Point Refinery. We need to get out there to start our walking again in the morning. So that is all sorted and we catch a workers bus at 6.45 am.