Te Araroa Trail Auckland Beaches
The Okura River Estuary Debacle…
This morning we got up at 4.15am to cross the Okura river estuary at the low tide at 6am. Anja, Markus and Danny crossed at the first crossing point.. which was waist deep in slow flowing water.
As Anouck and I can’t lift our 15kg packs above our heads for any length of time (especially in a soft, muddy footing in cold flowing water) we opted for plan b and crossed 1 km upstream in only knee deep water.
In hindsight we should at this point have stayed walking with the river channel itself, as the mud was pretty shallow, but instead we walked to the estuary coastline, thinking we had solid ground all the way back. We hadn’t noticed the couple of streams and the swampy mangrove areas…
We detoured the first swamp. We headed us inland around some paddocks, over gates and under electric fences.. which is very naughty, given we were on private land – we felt terrible. It took 30 mins.
Rather foolishly we decided to go straight through the second muddy swampy bit. Anouck bravely led the way and ploughed through a particularly deep muddy section and very quickly was up to her knees. (remember how I described different mud a few days ago??!)
Stuck in the mud
Anouck was stuck. She couldn’t move her feet, then when she finally did manage, her sandals got sucked off both her feet. She had to stuff her arm into knee deep stinking mud to find them.
It was something of a feat given that she had a 12kg pack on her back. I was useless.. Clearly I couldn’t go to her aid as I’d be in exactly the same position, so with a vague sense of panic (incoming tide & all that) I watched her struggle. I didn’t even think to get the camera out!
Amazingly she found the sandals. We washed ourselves of the stinking filth and followed the river channel back to the original crossing point where we continued the journey.
The remainder of today’s walk took us around Auckland’s very beautiful East coast bays. We breakfasted in Long Bay where we met up with Danny again, and we lunched at Castor Bay.
We got to Takapuna beach holiday park at 3pm. Danny continued on to Auckland and the final part of his holiday, so we had a celebratory ice-cream and bade him farewell.
Anouck and I checked into the campsite and spent the rest of the afternoon eating 🙂
In case anyone is in the area, we can highly recommend the ice-creams and takeaway Wagyu burger from the Takapuna Beach Cafe!