November 12, 2016
km traveled today: 23
total TA km: 584
This morning we left the wonderful Stillwater motor home area, and bid adieu to the wonderful free room and mattresses provided by Peter and Maxine. Thanks to the 11:45 AM low tide, we got to sleep in until 9:30 AM to time our tidal walking properly. We had an interesting morning estuary crossing, where the water came to about hip depth on all of us.
Jasper and I made the call to take off our shorts and underwear so our bottom half’s clothes remained dry post wade (recommend). After the crossing, we had a nice walk through a grassy dew laden track along the coast. As we walked we watched a number of huge navy ships start to gather off the coast. As we’d later learn, navy vessels were traveling toward Auckland from all over the world to celebrate the New Zealand navy’s 75th anniversary!
Anyway, I was walking in my Tevas, that are perhaps a little too big for me, so my left pinky toe started to be rubbed kinda raw. Pretty huge annoyance, so after a stretch of beach walking, I changed to my dry La Sportivas. Most of the day was spent walking either on beautiful rocky coast, with the volcano Mount Rangitoto approaching from the distance.
In one of the town areas, we dropped in on a small brass band playing fun tunes in an open public area. Great fun, though Jasper described the horn section as “loose”. After that we walked more along the beach, checking out some really interstate rock formation, wherewe were forced to do a little hopping and climbing to avoid the incoming tide.
I managed to keep my feet dry by avoiding a couple of close calls. Finally after a pretty relaxed paced day we pulled into Takapuna Holiday Park and proceeded to make dinner. With some supplies accrued from the “free food” bin, we were actually able to enhance our dinner to be quite epic.
As it turns out, the bulk of the free stuff we had employed had been donated moments before by a German couple operating the stove across from us. They offered us some of their savory biscuits, and I shot them a quick “Danke” which in return earned me a set of raised eye brows and a “bitte” (check spelling).
After dinner, I headed into town to get onto the wifi at Starbucks. The rest of the boys met me there roughly half an hour later, and we migrated to the “Elephant Wrestler” where we enjoyed a pint or two, as well as some tequila shots Jasper provided as a celebration of a successful trip this far. Terrific night, excited to enter Auckland tomorrow via ferry.