Te Araroa Trail Day 2 Ninety Mile Beach
It was a pretty windy night on 90 mile beach, which didn’t make for a good first sleep on Te Araroa trail! I was a bit spooked by weird noises, the tent flapping, the roar of the waves… this might take some getting used to!
I got up at 6.45am and enjoyed a sunny breakfast of tea and a single serve porridge, eaten from its little packet. The advantage of this is that there is no washing up involved – special thanks to my friend Bianca for the top tip!!. The sun was shining, and I started walking, making good time despite a headwind.
Today I crossed numerous streams & had wet feet all day. I stopped at the camping area at Manganui Bluff km 40.1 at 12.15pm for lunch and a water refill. During this time I was overtaken by a couple of hikers. I saw them in the distance when I headed towards the beach again after lunch.
In the afternoon I came across lots of dead puffer fish, and a tiny, lone seal pup – the highlight of the day.
By 2 pm I could go no further – my entire body ached. I had terrible sunburn on the backs of both knees/calves (the parts where I had neglected to use sunscreen. I mean whoever got sunburned on the backs of their knees when standing up?? OK all TA hikers on 90 mile beach I suppose!! I had also developed some enormous blisters on my heels, despite stuffing my socks with hikers wool this morning!
I camped really early at km 46.7 in the large sand dunes. What a chore!! 🙁 It is VERY VERY difficult to set up a (non-freestanding) tent in a sand dune, especially when everything is in pain, and it’s very windy. After several disastrous attempts and a few choice swear words later I camped in tiny gap between the long sea grasses.
I performed minor surgery on my blisters. This involved ‘sterilising’ a safety pin with an antiseptic wipe, then bursting and draining the blisters, and applying antiseptic. To add to the tale of woe my arthritic big toe was looking pretty swollen.
I took a couple of anti-inflammatory tablets and cheered myself up by starting Bill Bryson’s ‘Home’ on audiobook** to take me to bedtime. I went to bed hoping desperately my tent pegs wouldn’t pop out in the night!
** as it turns out one of the very rare times I listened to books or music on the trail