December 17th 2016
Tidesong B&B – Taurikura bay
Total distance: 244.7 miles
I was as tired as can be so I slept so well, we were inside and dry and cosy. We had two options today, get up really early and walk across the estuary at low tide, or wait for high tide and Hugh would take us over on his boat. I could barely open my eyes in the morning, I felt like I could have slept for at least another 12 hours. It was impossible to get up so more or less had our decision made for us. We would get the boat with Hugh.
We packed up our stuff and wandered back up to the house. Ros had made breakfast, cereals, fruit, pancakes and toast. We weren’t expecting that! A great way to start the day.
Hugh then took us down to the water on his self built walkway and took us the short journey across the estuary. We saw sting rays in the water on the way across. Very cool.
Because of the tides we didn’t start walking until 10am, the first two hours were across some farmland which had a lot of horses on. Horses are funny things, most of them are completely still, they barely move a muscle, we talk to them to try to make them move. Fun game. We joined a dirt road and went up a very steep climb which was a bit of a shock as I hadn’t really looked at the elevation to see what was ahead. It was a calf burner for sure, I felt like mine were on fire.
We then turned down towards Ocean Beach which we walked along for about 4 miles. It was beautiful and it looked deserted, we walked along the sand but with the tide fairly high we were pushed onto the softer stuff. The sea looked so inviting, I really wanted to go for a swim, but I made do with talking off my shoes and socks and walking amongst the surf instead. It was so nice to feel the water on my feet. I saw loads of washed up jelly fish which really put me off going in the sea!
I was glad we were coming to the end of the beach walk because my feet were really starting to hurt after a while of walking barefoot. My toes especially. We cleaned off our feet the best we could put our shoes and socks back on, even one grain of sand has huge blister potential. After a little scramble over the rocks we came to a little cove where all the people were, being a Saturday it was quite busy. It felt very strange to be walking in trainers with massive packs among the sunbathers and kids running in and out the sea.
In front of us for the last 5 miles has been the climb we have to do next. We took a little side trail to a picnic area to fill up on water and eat lunch before doing the climb. We found a nice picnic table in the shade and stopped for a while. The only place to fill up with water was the sink in the toilets. My water bottle didn’t fit under the tap so I used my platypus bladder, it’s always goodto have for situations like this. The water had a distinct yellow tinge to it and it was labelled at ‘non-potable’ so I filtered it and added flavouring.
Then we set off for the climb. 1300ft over 1.5 miles. The first bit was very steep. Very steep indeed. My calf muscles were screaming and the heat was intense. We were totally exposed and the sweat was pouring off my face. It was a struggle but soon we were in some tree cover which was nice. It was still super steep and I just took it slowly to reduce the risk of passing out. There are loads of wooden steps in some places which eased the pressure on the calf muscles a bit. The trees are great for shade but they also bring a lot of trip hazards, so many tree roots to avoid tripping over. On the way up we saw a man, who when we told him where we were going told us to ‘get a move on’ and not in a jokey way. Not necessary to say that you very annoying man.
Eventually we made it to the top and went up to the view point. We got a great view on both sides. The boats looked minuscule. We set off on the down hill and the other uphill which was a bit of a slog. I met a family who had overshot their destination so I have to give them the unfortunate news that they have to go back up the hill for half a mile.
Then we came to the steep down hill which was all wooden stairs which sounds nice but imagine descending a staircase for a solid 25 minutes! By the time I got to the bottom my legs were shaking.
We walked through some farm land with some very uninterested cows until we got to a road and some public toilets. We hadn’t really made much of a plan on where to stay for the night so we were going off someone else’s blog who said they camped in a farmers field. We had the mile marker so we walked along the road and figured we would get to that mile marker and see what was there. We were looking for a field with a tennis court and public toilets nearby.
We found the field and there was some kind of shindig happening in it so I went to speak to them about who we need to contact about camping here. I called Eric (on my new Skype calling thing – very good) and he said the people had booked the field but we could camp in the corner if it was alright with them. They were great and were totally fine with us camping there. They said we could join them later if we wanted but we were so tired we pitched our tents and crawled in them and went to sleep. I was too tired to write this which is becoming too frequent. There was even a trash can by the toilets, a rare find in NZ.
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.