December 28th 2016 
Auckland ferry terminal – Ambury park camp site 
12 miles 
Total distance: 381 miles

It’s going to be difficult getting back on the trail today after such a nice relaxing break. We had a shortish day planned. First was getting back to Auckland. I drove, I have done loads of driving over the past 4 days and I’ve actually quite enjoyed it, but I don’t miss it. I eased back into it fairly quickly, and I even felt ok without my glasses, but that’s enough driving for a little while now. I was really pleased to be able to help out and take some of the pressure of Mary-Ann so she could relax and enjoy herself too. Whether she was relaxed with my driving is another question!

It was about an hours drive back to Auckland and after saying our goodbyes we walked the short distance back to the ferry terminal where our walk ended a few days ago. It was at this point we said goodbye to Kristen for a while. She is still having trouble with her knee and with a load of road walking coming up she is taking some time off to rest it.

The trail winds itself through Auckland. It doesn’t really matter too much if you stick to the exact trail, just as long as you walk through the city. We started off on the trail and then went into Newmarket to do a couple of chores. We got some money out the bank (you can’t rely on card here as lots of people/places don’t take card payments, so I’m having to get used to carrying cash all the time). I also wanted to look in the gear shops to see if I could get a new top. Mine is starting to fall apart and the material on the shoulders is getting very thin. I want a shirt I think, but women’s shirts are gross and men’s shirts are just too big for me. I couldn’t find anything I wanted. I was also feeling a bit funny. It was really muggy out and I had a funny head, my eyes were itchy and sore and I had a pain, like a headache but it seemed to be behind my whole face rather then in the head. I couldn’t concentrate on anything so I decided the top I had would have to last at least until Hamilton. A decision I may regret. Time will tell.

After a couple of hours we had only made it a mile and we decided to stop in a cafe for a drink, which turned into lunch. I felt really awful while I was in there. I didn’t feel particularly tired but I did struggle to keep my eyes open, they were just so sore. I was hoping the food and drink would help. The food was delicious. Corn fritters with peppers and avocado and bacon, topped off with a chocolate brownie. I started to feel a bit better. It really was time for us to get a move on now.

We got out of Newmarket and headed up to Mount Eden. We got to the top which had wonderful views over Auckland despite the cloud and drizzle. On our way down we found ourselves going round in circles and we ended up ridiculously close to where we had started, we had been about an hour but moved about 0.2 of a mile down the trail!

It started to rain so we put on our coats, it was muggy and uncomfortable. We didn’t follow the official trail and instead went over to Mount Eden road to find a post office, it was closed unfortunately so after buying a soda from the first shop I went into when I arrived in New Zealand we headed over to the Pack’n’save a couple of miles down the road.

Neither of us had any desire to buy any food that is suitable to eat on the trail. Only a month in and we are sick of everything. Pack’n’save was overwhelming. Too many things to choose from and so much of it! People like it here because it’s cheap, it is a bit cheaper but the real savings are on the bulk stuff which we don’t need. I would rather carry less food and spend a bit more money for the minimal savings. Anyway, Julia resupplied for the next 4 days with 3 bags of crisps, 4 packets of tuna and some chocolate. Not enough! I bought 2 bags of crisps, shortbread, fruit snacks, sweets, a chocolate pastry, cheese & pesto bread and a chocolate milk to drink now. We looked for monopoly deal in the shopping centre but they didn’t have it so Julia bought playing cards instead.

We found a post office that was open and I sent off my jetboil that I’ve only used twice so far, and some other random bits to my 2015 PCT friend Jules, who lives on the South Island, to look after. Chores complete we carried on through town, along pavements and past industrial areas until we joined the coastal walkway which was really pretty.

We found the Ambury park campsite and set up there for the night. It was busy with caravaners and camper vans but it was the only place to camp. With a pit toilet and drinking water we were set.

My body is in a lot of pain! Despite a great rest, my back and sides are sore from the paddle boarding and my legs and feet are just sore generally. I was so glad to have stopped walking and to be lying down which seems ridiculous after so much rest but that’s the way it is. I’ve been feeling soreness in my knees over the last few days so the KT tape is back on and helping.


I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.