Te Araroa Trail 90 Mile Beach
I slept better last night. The wind abated a little in the night although it was roaring again by morning. Luckily my tent survived the night in it’s precarious pitch – yay!
Pain… and what to do about it!
My body survived too, although almost everything is in pain – my back, shoulders, legs, knees, and feet. I did some stretches & felt infinitely better. I dressed my blisters again and taped my heels with medical tape.
Over breakfast I considered the items I will discard as soon as I get to Ahipara including my soap (I will use my Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash instead), my tiny phone tripod and some food. I got myself together and attempted to shake sand from all my belongings – an exercise in futility. I got going around 8.30am.
My feet weren’t too bad post surgery and taping, and I made OK time. Higlight of the morning was meeting a lone adult seal early on, and a heron kept me company for an hour flying from perch to perch on driftwood just beyond me.
Ninety Mile Beach
A strange thing about ninety mile beach (apart from the fact it isn’t ninety miles long) is that cars drive on it when the tide is low. Around lunchtime I waved to a passing car and it swerved over towards me. In the passenger side was Bruce Hopkins, a Kiwi guy who I knew of via my friend Red (TA alumni 16/17 season).
Bruce had managed to get himself drunk with a bunch of locals the night before, and had been taken back to someone’s house. When I saw him he was being driven North back UP the beach to begin his hiking day 🙂 I couldn’t imagine what it would be like walking in this heat with a raging hangover!!
Utea Park Campground and Cabins
I got to Utea Park at 2pm. It was a beautiful place, and the lovely hosts Tania & Paul made me feel very welcome. I paid for a little cabin… ooh the luxury of shower, toilet, a kitchen table and cooking facilities!!
Later in the afternoon I met fellow TA walker Balaz (the most hilarious Hungarian chap who I greeted at Cape Reinga). He had left all his food at Cape Reinga, and plodded into the campsite half delirious, after two days of eating only nuts! Tania promptly bundled him into her car & took him to the local takeaway 30 minutes drive away.
I offloaded a decent amount of food to some young German tourists, and lightened my pack considerably!
Looking forward to a final day on the beach tomorrow!