Day 29 Sharing Trail Stories
Thursday 7 November
Pakiri Campground to Govan Wilson Road
Elevation 39 flights (Seriously! This was over the Omaha Forest range. And yesterday was allegedly 85 floor along a flat beach. The only thing the fit bit is good at is telling the time!)
Weather: Started foggy, then climbed above the fog into a hot sunny day.
The intent was to rise with the sun and take photos. I did wake up temporarily, then delightfully discovered a heavy fog outside. I decided to forgo the opportunity of ethereal misty photos and went back to sleep.
When I finally dragged my lazy behind out of bed it ended up being a bit of a late start. The plus side to this was meeting up with Katherine and Pete from Nelson just as I was leaving. We walked the short road walk together and shared trail stories.
The most amazing discovery was how much Katherine's feet still hurt! OMG, not more feet stories!!!!!! I promise not to bore you any more. I will simply say we both found it incredibly comforting that we are not alone in our pain, and our bemusement that after four weeks things do not seem to be any better. We both put it down to age.
I had no real plan today, and didn't have any accommodation booked. There were a couple of options. One is a short day, the second is a very long day. There was no in between because the trail goes through private land and camping isn't permitted.
It was up and over the Omaha Forest range after passing through a very hilly farm. Full sun, no shade and very, very hot. The view back to the coast was excellent and taking photos of the islands peeking above the fog out at sea was a great excuse to stop frequently.
The track through the forest for a large part was regenerating native bush. It has been dry weather for the last few days so the track was dry mud. I thank my lucky stars for that. You can see the very deep depressions in the dry mud where others have walked when it was wet. The track notes also described it as difficult, and the descents would have been a nightmare in the wet. Quite a few ups and downs, with the track moving into more established native bush.
Out the other side of the forest it was decision time. Push on, or take a short day. It was 2.30pm. I had stopped and was just starting to check accommodation options when out of the bush popped Chris!. I thought he was a couple of days ahead, but he had stopped for an extra rest day at Whangarei to pick up a resupply box and rest a sore ankle.
He had found the lawn of a trail angel to stay on a couple of km up the road, and it was decision made. I had run out of water and ready to call it a day so joined him. Our trail angel lets hikers camp on his lawn, lets us use the shower and toilet, and provides a beer or soft drink. Others have now also arrived. Betty and Lulu from kayaking (Paihia), and Kate ( a NZer who lives in Canada), who I haven't met before. A lovely group of people, and wonderful hosts.
Tomorrow is a big day. There are two forests to go through, a great deal of climbing and descending before climbing again, and limited options for camping. I have found a booked a unit with Lulu and Betty. We found out the usual campsite is full so thought it wise to book something. We are the first TA hikers for tomorrow's hosts and they seem very excited to have us stay. She has even texted me to ask if we would like some snapper for dinner tomorrow!