December 12th 2016
Stone store – Paihia (said like: you can get ‘Pie Here’)
Total Distance: 153.4 miles
After falling asleep with my phone in my hand, mid blog, I woke up early to finish writing. I got up at 8 but really I could have happily stayed in bed all day. After breakfast we called the water taxi in Opua to check the times they are running. The trail officially goes over the water and the taxi only runs at high tide so it was either 6pm today or 7am tomorrow. I have a friend in Paihia and would really like to see her so we opted for the boat tomorrow.
We faffed about for a bit and then Marvin drove is back to Kerikeri and helped us run our errands. To the supermarket to go through the agony of resupply and to the pharmacy to get Kristen a knee brace so she can start walking with us again. We tried to resupply for 6 days and I just bunged a load of things into a basket. Crisps, chocolate, cake, candy, chicken, croissants, cheese, crackers, cereal bars, ciabatta and noodles…
We got back to the Stone Store and left off exactly where we were yesterday. I made Marvin take a selfie with me and he protested but look at the smile on his face, the biggest one I’ve seen since I’ve been here. He must be glad he is finally getting rid of us!! He has been so awesome and together with Sue they feel like part of the family now.
Our packs are so heavy with all that food and it’s a struggle in the heat and the road walking. But it’s flat and that helps. Lots of beautifully manicured gardens to admire along the way. We miss the turn to join the dirt road but luckily don’t go too far out of our way. Then we are back in the forest and under the shelter of the trees which is nice. There is a lack of orange markers on this part of the trail and we are grateful for the GPS. The trail markers are little white Te Araroa signs which are quite hard to spot.
The dirt road carries on for miles and we walk continuously without stopping, realising we left a bit late and needed to go pretty quickly to get to Paihia at a reasonable time. We chatted along the way and as the road was nice and wide we would walk side by side. The time went quickly and soon we could see Paihia in the distance. Another road walk brought us into town. We walked along the seafront and found the YHA, got our low carbon traveller discount and met three other TA hikers. There will be 7 of us getting the boat tomorrow now so the cost comes down to NZ$20 which is pretty reasonable. 14.7 miles in 5 hours was pretty good.
We head out to meet my friend Hollywood who hiked the PCT nobo in 2016 and we went out for a curry. She gave us a bag of trail magic which was awesome and we had a great night catching up and hearing all her amazing plans. She was very naughty and paid for our meal, but it was very nice of her.
Back at the hostel we are late going to bed, especially considering our early start in the morning, we have 4 miles to walk. George getting the boat at 7am. The hostel is one of the noisiest yet. It’s 11:20pm and there is still music blaring from the room next door. I am struggling to keep my eyes open so hopefully in a minute I’ll just pass out!
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.