November 13, 2016
km traveled today: 9 km (+ commuter ferry from Devonport to Auckland)
total TA km: 594
Today day was short walking-wise; we hiked on trail (“trail”) only the 9 or so km from Takapuna holiday park to the Devonport commuter ferry, which dropped us in downtown Auckland.
We woke up after a half-hour sleep-in, ate a breakfast of muesli and rehydrated strawberry yogurt powder, and began the walk roughly down the coast towards Devonport.
Some was road, and some was walking path, and some was beach, but none was hard and we took our time but still arrived in Devonport at around 10:30 satisfied with ourselves for our completion of the first third or so of the North Island (594 total km, so about 1/3 of the 1702 km island)!
Highlights of the suburban walk were 1) some more extremely posh contemporary beachfront/clifftop houses, 2) one of the few dogs-allowed beaches in the country which we hit at what must have been peak Sunday dog-walking hour and had the BEST time at, laughing at goofy puppies and just the happiest animals ever, and 3) some WWI and WWII searchlight housings and cannon tracks and tunnels and old cross-harbor enemy submarine capturing nets.
Jack was scared of going through the tunnels but we helped him face his fears and he made it through all right! Proud of you, buddy!
In Auckland we dropped our bags at the YHA we stayed at the first time we were in the city and explored for a bit (ate some great fish and chips at Fishsmith in Ponsonby) before heading to Jasper’s and my Princeton classmate Charlotte’s parents’ house in Mission Bay a tiny bit east of downtown.
Cheryl and Miles and their son James have been so generous to let us stay and stuff us with delicious sausages!! We are looking forward to enjoying the rest day tomorrow – though we’re considering hiking up Rangitoto, the volcanic island that looms over the city, tomorrow, which would squander the ‘rest’ aspect somewhat.
We are so grateful for this generosity and so full and happy- proud of the three and a half weeks spent getting back to Auckland the slowest possible way, by walking, but doing it slightly quicker than most. We’re running a tight itinerary to make sure to get to Wellington by very late December so we can meet up with our parents and whatnot. A relaxing day leading to a more relaxing one tomorrow!