Day 5 Paekakareiki to Waikanae with some company – 22km

After another fun night with Phillipa and her friend I was ready for another 22km walk along the west coast with some company for the day. Pip and Jane are walking Te Araroa South Island SOBO starting before Christmas this year. They have followed my SOBO blog and are all kitted out and excited about the adventure to come. I am sure they will love every hard damn step of it!

Also along for the walk was Linda, a landscape gardener, who was involved in planning the original track through the area with Geoff Chapple. She must be proud to see the trail being used by so many people now.

It was a chatty day as you would expect with 4 women together for about 8 hours straight. We walked along paths adjacent to the beach most of the way with a small section on the actual beach. That was enough to remind me that beach walking is not so much fun with a full pack on my back.

We came across some locals whitebaiting. There is is a short season each year where we can catch these wee fish in nets, usually in estuaries. They are a iconic New Zealand delicacy. People have favourite spots which are closely guarded and defended.

The plan had been to head into the Taraura Ranges the next day with Lois but the weather was not looking good. It is an acceptable risk to be in rolling farmland in a gale but definitely not safe to be on a mountain range in a storm for 5 days. However Lois and Rohan met us along the trail and we joined them for a much deserved beer. over the beer or 3 we decided to try again for after the 25th, 2 weeks away. The others caught a train back to Plimmerton then I was picked up by my friend Trevor and taken to stay with him and Maxine in Paraparaumu for a few days while I tried to hatch another plan.

They were pleased to do their bit for society and take in a homeless, jobless tramp and feed her up with good nourishing food before sending me on my way back home.

It was 2 hour bus trip back to Palmerston North, all masked up, listening to my e-book “Batavia” about a shipwreck in 1629 along the Western Australian coast. I had downloaded this to set the scene for my walk in Australia. I definitely would not have wanted to come across any of the mutineers from that ship. They turned into thieves, rapists, murderers and brutes in their fight for survival and over the treasure aboard the ship. I hoped the resident Australians would have been a lot less scary. Those who survived had eaten a lot of the funny looking “cats” that hopped around on large feet and had babies in their pockets.