November 7, 2016
Km traveled today: 31
total TA km: 450
Today we woke up a few minutes past 6:30 to wait out having to break camp during a particularly rough spell of rain. It cleared quickly and we departed the backyard of the Waipu Pub to walk out of town via Waipu Cove Road. We climbed uphill via winding bitumen roads with increasingly gorgeous views of the east coastline.
Paved road turned to Gravel or “metal road” as the Kiwis call it, and we continued to climb.
Saying goodbye to the rolling hills, we cut into the Brynderwyn Forest. We climbed what felt like straight up to a few hundred meters of altitude. Descending from the high peaks of the day, we stopped for lunch on a beautiful patch of grass overlooking the Pacific.
After lunch we continued down through paddocks and weaved our way through flocks of freshly sheared sheep. Out of the farmland, we headed toward the Mangawhai Cliff Track, where we walked along epic ocean cliffs for an hour or so before descending to the beach.
After 1 km of beach walking, we reached the end of the Northland Region, the first leg of Te Araroa. We could think of no better way to bid farewell to the Northland Region than with a beach walk, remembering briefly our first few days on 90 mile beach just under three weeks ago.
Walking toward town, we met Jill, a woman who helped us find our current sleeping spot. She offered us a ride to the Foursquare for our resupply, and while we were buying our food she introduced us to Dawn, the lovely woman who is hosting us for the night. She let us pitch our tents in her yard, and we cooked dinner high and dry in her gazebo.
Trail angels indeed. Our night concluded with a game of Hearts at Dawn’s dinner table. Thanks to Jill and Dawn we managed to buy our food and settle into our sleeping bags before the rain began ripping at the tents.
Awesome day as usual,