Day 23 Billions of Stairs
Friday 1 November
Finish 8pm (includes 2 hour break)
Weather: Very warm
Maybe it is a slight exaggeration to say a billion stair - more like a million. The day started easily enough. Ros and Hugh kindly led us over the estuary having given me breakfast of cornflakes and stewed apples.
A gravel road over a range of hills then down to Ocean Beach. Gorgeous views, godwits, oyster catchers and seagulls. I walked the beach in bare feet which was such a relief for my feet. Even the sand blasting from the strong headwind couldn't convince me to put my shoes back on. The beach was 7km long, and when I get to the end I had to decide whether to call it a day and camp there, or do Bream Head. It was only 1pm so I decided to do the Bream.
Quite oblivious to how hard it was going to be I took my time having lunch and and fixing up my feet. I set off up the hill at 3pm. Well I have never climbed so many stairs in my life. Went from sea level to 476m over 2km. Kindly, stairs had been put in to help. OMG! And when I thought there could not be any more stairs, there were. And more, and more. Rather than go around any of the peaks the trail took me right over the top of every single one. I was ultimately grateful I didn't have to do it the other way around, as coming off the last peak, it simply went straight down another million steep steps.
The views were truly amazing and I was protected from the strong winds by the bush.
Off the Bream it was 2.5km to Kiwi Bach, hosted by Colleen and Owen Hughes. On the way there I got see see the sunset over the Marsden Point Oil Refinery. Colleen was wonderful and lent me her foot bath.
Darryl was also at the bach and has very kindly offered to go to Whangarei tomorrow to get me new shoes. He has 50 years experience in shoes, having owned shoe shops for the last 40 years, and he thinks my shoes are too small and my orthotics are causing the blisters. Colleen and Owen are driving us in.