You may have noticed, I’m really behind on the blog. This is because I am completely exhausted. New Zealand is kicking my ass, but I’m kicking back. Today is 24th of December and I’m having my first day off in 21 days, and I have 3 more days off for a Christmas break. Hopefully I will catch up with everything over that time…

December 4th 2016
Twilight beach camp – Bluff campsite
17.4 miles 
Total distance: 25 miles

The stars last night were incredible. The only thing I recognised was Orion’s Belt. I did get a little possum visitor to my tent, and although all my food was inside the tent my pack was outside. I got a bit worried that the possums would run off with it so I brought it inside with me.

It was a lovely warm dry night, one update to my kit I have made is the addition of possum down socks. Made with New Zealand possum fur I am slightly concerned they will attract their possumy friends. In the morning the mosquitos had crowded around my tent. I have already got loads of bites on my legs. From what I’m not sure, midges? Sand flies? But I do know they are very itchy.

We decided to start walking at 6am. In hindsight it was probably a little early given that we had 17 miles of flat ground to cover, but it was nice to get some walking in before the sun came up. There was a short climb over the dunes, parts of which were very steep. My thighs and calves were burning.

It was cloudy and soon the sun was breaking through which looked beautiful as we approached ninety mile beach. We walked along together for about 6 miles. Playing silly games that our early morning brains were struggling to cope with. It looked pretty daunting. Miles and miles stretched out before us. Thankfully the sand is not hard to walk on as we mostly walked in the wet part so it was nice and compact.

After a quick snack break we plugged ourselves into podcasts and Julia and Kristen steamed off ahead. I could feel the beginnings of a twinge in my left shin so I went a bit slower, plus what’s the rush? Our campsite was only 11 miles away and at this rate we would be there by midday! I walked along taking in everything around me. I saw 4 dead sharks, 3 dead birds, lots of alive birds and a dead jellyfish. There are a few cars on the beach and they go at quite a speed. One zoomed by and didn’t leave a lot of room as they passed. I find it slightly odd that there is no interaction with the car drivers. Not even a wave.

Eventually I came across a message in the sand indicating they had stopped for lunch. I join them and eat some chocolate. I’m not sure if I don’t have enough food or I am just extra hungry, but I woke up starving this morning. I’m not carrying any less than I would have on the pct but I am significantly hungrier. I’m super hungry at lunch but I’ve pretty much eaten all my snacks already so chocolate will have to do.

We only have 3 more miles to go to our camp site. We sit for a while and I take a short nap. The clouds have dispersed and it’s getting hot. Although it’s deceptive because there is a constant wind so although there is no shade and the sun is beating down it’s doesn’t feel too hot. But we still know that we are burning. The endless flat makes my hips hurt and I’m getting a little sore bit in the heel of my foot.

We have another couple of stream crossings and I don’t concern myself too much about getting my feet wet. The weather is good enough to dry them and we have plenty of time. The camp area is beautiful. We find some shade to shelter under. It’s 1:30pm. It’s super early, but we have done 17.4 miles which is a decent amount of miles. Especially for day 2 on the trail. I lie down and I instantly fall asleep. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m so tired! I doze on and off. I don’t want to sleep now because I won’t sleep tonight, but I just can’t keep my eyes open! I didn’t take a single nap on the PCT but I’ve had about 4 in one day today! Simon and Virginia arrive. They too have decided they have walked far enough. We hang out under the tree, it gets a bit cold in the shade so we do a half and half thing and I sleep hard for a couple of hours. Even though the sun was out there was a wind and it became oddly cold. I lay in the sun with my puffies on.

Finally I manage to wake up a bit and set about pitching the tent and organising stuff. I eat my dinner of rice noodles and broccoli. The broccoli is nice, but I don’t think the calories are worth the weight. I’m constantly hungry so it’s not filling me up. I should go back to junk food.

We sit around together and chat about our day and the pronunciation of words here in New Zealand. We are all having the same problem. We don’t know how to pronounce anything!

We see another glorious sunset and Simon had this awesome app which allows you to see the constellations and planets in the sky. Venus is shining brightly next to the moon. I think we did the right thing by not pushing our bodies too hard at the start.


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