Start: Waipu Cove 408km
Finish: Matakana 472km
Distance for the day: 64km
Cumulative distance: 472km
Cumulative moving time:
My first week on the trail is now complete – the first significant milestone – and a very satisfying one. Reflecting back there is plenty feel positive about, particularly with all the unknowns going into an adventure like this.
I guess the important thing is how my body is holding up. Interestingly, none of the niggles I thought would cause me trouble have done so. I haven’t really had too much trouble other than a few blisters. My feet are sore from long spells of running with wet feet, but it’s relatively superficial stuff.
Today the weather wasn’t quite so kind after a long, kind, settled spell. A few hours of misty and intermittently heavy rain fell before lunch and put my tail between my legs, but a change of clothes/ footwear and a pretty substantial cooked lunch got me back on track quickly. The running today was fairly flat including quite a bit of road and some lengthy sections of beach (Te Arai/ Pakiri). The highlight was definitely the Mangawhai Coastal Walkway although it felt all too short.
|Te Arai Beach|
I seem to be getting the hang of dealing with the boring bits. Today I got up to date on Facebook, whilst cruising along (sad, I know). Other options include pinging off a tweet or two, listening to music, bird watching or dolphin spotting. My mind seems to be free of usual daily life stuff, so it’s really refreshing to be drifting off and mulling over geology, landscapes, the wildlife or anything else in my special, generally people-less, place at any moment in time.
|Descent from Tamahunga|
|Back down after Tamahunga.|
I’ve come across a few fellow through-hikers. It’s always great to stop and chat to them and see what their story is, and they always have one. I have huge admiration for them all for taking on such a challenge lasting many, many, months, and there is definitely a strong bond and instant mutual respect from the common goal.
The guys joined me for a couple of small sections today; Mark for the bottom section of Pakiri bech and James for the descent of Tamahunga, an impressive forest-clad peak of 437 metres which was my last section of the day. The views should have been amazing, but the top half was shrowded in mist and clag, so we didn’t hang around long.
Tomorrow I’ll hit the outskirts of Auckland but it will take me more than a day to move through. The kayak crossing of the harbour on Thursday should be epic, landing at the marina – for beer and pizza…?