December 18th 2016
Taurikura bay – possible camping
22.4 (inc 1 mile boat ride)
Total distance: 267.1 miles
Last night I had called a couple of people listed in the trail notes about a boat ride across the bay. Duncan had agreed to meet us at 8am and take us across for NZ$10 each. We still had around 2.5 miles to do to get there but we still had a lie in and didn’t get up until 6:30ish. I set my alarm for 6 and it was very difficult to open my eyes. So so tired. But I wanted to get the writing finished.
We packed up and after a quick public toilet stop (I’ve been on the trail 16 days and only had one nature poo!) we were on our way. A bit of road then a bit of coastal track got us to the bay where we were to meet Duncan. I called him to let him know we had arrived and he came up the road on his tractor pulling his boat. We got in the boat while it was still on land then he backed it into the water. No wet feet. Excellent. We made the very fast, very short, but very deep crossing across the bay towards the oil refinery. The boat ride was really fun and we felt it was a great way to start the day, until we realised that our hands stank of fish, and that our wet bums most probably stank of fish too. Oh well.
Duncan advised us that because it was high tide the beach would be very difficult to walk along and there would be an impossible crossing so it would be best to walk to road to Ruakaka and then cut back down to the beach later on. We navigated our way through the industrial estate and walked the road into town. It wasn’t far and by 9:40 we had found the bakery and sat down to have a soda, a spring roll and a chicken dim sum. It was a lot of food and in hindsight I should have gone for 2 sodas and one bit of food.
After a bit more road walking we cut down to the beach and found a little convenience store, so we took another break and drank soda and ate ice creams. What a good day this is turning out to be! Once we made it to the beach we took our shoes off once more to feel the cool ocean on our feet. It feels really nice to walk barefoot. There were lots of people on the beach today, it’s the start of the summer holidays in NZ so all the kids are breaking up from school. We must have walked through a nudist section of the beach because there were a lot of rudey nudeys about at one point. Although bare foot beach walking is nice it really takes its toll on your feet after a while and by the last half a mile (we did about 4 miles) my feet were very sore. Sore on the bottoms from the sand and just sore in general from having no support. We saw a couple of ladies who told us that had seen a woman with an umbrella walking along the beach today so there is someone not far in front of us.
It actually felt nice to put my shoes back on, something I never really like doing, I’m normally very keen to take them off! We had about another 4 or so miles of road to walk to get to Waipu (one of my favourite town names so far). Waipu was a little bigger than we were expecting and I was able to go to a 4 square to get some more food to get me through to tomorrow. I had pretty much run out aside from a cereal bar and some crackers. I got crisps, chocolate, cookies and candy. That’ll get me through 24 hours. Julia and Kristen still had food so they headed over the road to the Waipu museum. When I went to find them they had gone in and the lady in the shop said she had let them in for free and I could go in too. That was very nice of her.
We had a wander around, I didn’t really take much of it in. It was something to do with the connection between Scotland, Nova Scotia and New Zealand. Lots of gaelic stuff. All very confusing if I’m honest! But the Canadians enjoyed it. After that very small cultural dip we found Pizza Barn, a very popular stop among TA walkers. I miss my endless soda refills though, I’m back to the British way of paying for every soda! They were great in there. They put my battery pack behind the bar to charge and they got rid of all my rubbish from my food resupply without me asking. The pizzas were really good too. Lots of toppings.
We hung out in there for quite a while. We arrived at 3:15 and didn’t leave until 5pm. Kristen has decided to stay in Waipu a couple of nights and try to meet up with us further down the trail in a couple of days. I think the trail is taking its toll on her body. So we left her behind as we hiked on another 6 miles down the road, the last mile was a gravel road and we found a campsite on the side with a nice view.
I set up my tent quickly, hoping to give it time to dry out from last night condensation. I was lying down by 8:30 which was nice and I’m determined not to fall asleep while writing tonight, and try and be asleep by 9:30. We put back our start time to 7am so hopefully that will give me a bit of a chance to catch up on some sleep. Absolutely stuffed full from all the food we ate today. The extra portion of smashed potatoes we had at Pizza Barn were totally unnecessary. We struggled to gain any speed on the last 6 miles. I didn’t bother with dinner because I was so full. I ate a few shortbread and a few jelly sweets. Healthy and nutritious.
I haven’t had the KT tape on my knees since it came off in the Raetea forest and I’m really starting to feel in in my knees today. It feels very nice to be lying down.
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.