Day 3 A Long Hard Slog
Finish 3.05pm (approx)
The feet felt it today Mostly the base of my feet just ache. I was pretty damn pleased to see the sign for the Utea Campground. A second small blister has appeared. I started the day with my feet completely taped up, but when I took it off the first blister from yesterday has grown quite large. The day was uneventful, and I have really appreciated the lovely weather. Not too hot, some cloud to keep the temperature down and a tail wind. Did have a little bit of concern over water. As I didn't stay at the camp last night there was no water refill. There were plenty of water sources marked on the map, but the first two were dry. Just as I was starting to consider my options I came across a stream and was able to fill the water bladder. Got stung by a bee on my finger yesterday, and today my hand has swelled. Used to be allergic as a child so hoping this is as bad as the reaction gets.
Tonight is at Utea Campground which is run by the lovely Tania and Pauly. I was welcomed with a lovely glass of cold water, and then one of Tania's famous Blueberry Milkshakes. It was delightful. They also have hot showers!!!
I have met a few more of my fellow TAers. Euan and Steve (young guys from Scotland), and Luigi (young guy from France who is sick of the beach already and taking the road to Kaitia from tomorrow). We were told there were 24 hikers two days ago, and it has been a really busy start to the season. There is also a family of four and their youngest is just seven!
The most useful item I have in my pack is a mini towel (about the size of an oversized handkerchief). It is sort of like a highly absorbent chux cloth that I got from Zpack in the US. So far it has been a sun protector on my neck, wipes condensation from the inside of the tent, , flicks sand of things (the sand is everywhere), I wipe my hands on it, and I used it as an actual towel after my shower. I then just rinse it and hang it on the back of my pack with a bamboo peg and it dries in no time.
Tomorrow I think I will make the next 31km to Ahipara in two bites and stay in the dunes again tomorrow. I prefer not to as the campground I would have stayed in is closed, but not sure how tired my feet will be. Amazingly the rest of my body feels absolutely fine.
Sorry, not many photos today, it was all a bit samey. Should have anticipated that I guess :).