January 23rd 2017
Koitiata camp ground – Mount Lees Reserve
Total distance: 764.9 miles
After another great nights sleep we woke to wind and rain and we were so thankful we weren’t out there in our tents. We were in no rush to get moving and we had a leisurely morning. I am still feeling rubbish and uncomfortable with myself. I look at myself in the mirror. I need to stop hating my appearance. Yes, my hair is ridiculous but the rest of me isn’t that bad, is it?
We have a 5 mile beach walk to start the day and we decide to wait to do it at low tide, so this morning we watch a bit of the tennis while Mike does his morning workout in an upstairs room with an incredible view. We have a nice fruit packed breakfast and we make our sandwiches. Mike fixes the broken shoulder strap on Julia’s pack and my new hiking outfit gets the seal of approval.
The shirt is massively too big but it was either too big or too small and I didn’t think too small would work too well. The shorts fit nicely but they are a bit longer than I wanted them to be, but the pockets are great. Having only worn one outfit for over six months now I’m sure anything new would have felt weird and no doubt I will get used to the new things. Just a shame the new clothes have clashed head first with a body confidence crisis. I threw my old top away, it was so hard to do, I had grown quite attached to it! But I kept my shorts in case the new ones causes any chafe. I’m unsure about the new clothes but I’m probably more unsure of the body being put in them.
Anyway, after all that was finished we packed up and Mike and June drove us back to the point they picked us up yesterday, the rain had stopped but it was still very windy. We said farewell and tried to thank them for everything they had done for us, it had been a really wonderful experience.
We got going about 11:30, the sea was stormy and rough and the wind was pushing us along from behind, the sand was stinging our legs. It was much easier to walk along at low tide because we could walk on the compact sand rather than up near the dunes. We picked our way through the driftwood and watched the foam from the sea being blown across the beach. We saw three sets of footprints which must be from Everett and Jeff and Michael. I ate my sandwich as I walked along, I’m a terrible boredom eater!
After a couple of hours we turned off the beach and away from the relentless wind which was nice. We climbed up and over the dunes and landed in a small forested area which was nice and sheltered. After a wee stop, removal of layers and a snack, we set off on the long road walk to Bulls. The road was gravel and quiet so we listened to podcasts to pass the time. The clouds started to break up throughout the day and we got some sunshine!
The dirt road turned into paved road and the last few miles into town were painful. All of our joints were hurting, my heels and knees were especially sore. We stopped in the first shop we saw to buy a soda, having drunk nothing since leaving Mike and June’s house we were pretty dehydrated! Bulls in the pun capital of the world, well actually I just made that up, but it was fun to see all the puns on the signs. We headed for an Indian restaurant to get some food, a curry roll sounded nice and it was half the price of a normal curry so we decided to get one of those. Butter chicken and rice wrapped in a garlic and cheese naan. Sounds great. As it was on the entree side of the menu I thought it might be quite small so I got onion bajee to start. The onion bajee was huge and when the curry roll came I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat it all. It was enormous. It was also delicious, I managed about 2 thirds of mine before giving up because I felt like I was going to be sick. I felt so uncomfortable and we still had 6 miles to go to get to our camp site!
It was now 6:30 so we needed to get a move on to make it before it got dark. A short walk through town took us on to the quiet back roads again and we waddled along, too full to go any faster. We made it at about 8:45 and we were able to get everything set up before it got dark.
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.