This was Friday 6th and we decided to further test the knee by doing around 21km of the TA - relatively gentle walking mostly on roads and through Waitangi forest.
GPS track here. I again made a mistake by stopping and not restarting the watch for about 1.5km of track from bottom of Pa Rd until partway along Inlet Rd. Old age memory problems I think! So the track shows a straight line between those 2 points and duration is short by about 15 mins or so!
Maria dropped us off in Kerikeri as we needed a chemist, so we then walked maybe 2km down to the historic Stone Store to start the actual TA part of the walk. I almost immediately led us astray on a grassy hill by following the most well worn track - wrong!! Only did a few hundred metres before a quick check of the GPS or us right! Dodgy start.
A few kms of mainly road saw us at the start of there Waitangi forest track. Here we also caught up with Lucas (Czech) and Annette (German) - fellow TA walkers - for a quick chat. The walk here was totally on forestry roads, so relatively gentle inclines and well formed. Even though we didn't get much over 100m ASL we still managed views over the beautiful Bay of Islands.
We stopped and had lunch at the cairn and sculpture that marked the official opening of the first section of the TA way back in 1995.
More walking through forestry roads ensued, before we emerged onto Haruru Falls Rd and shortly thereafter walking through the picturesque Waitangi Golf Course (on a road, not down the fairways I hasten to add!).
Then it was down the hill to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where we stopped for refreshments (including hot chips - staple walking food!) for an hour or so. That rejuvenated us for the remaining few kms across the Waitangi bridge and along the foreshore to the info centre at Paihia - from where we started our recent Paihia to Opua walk.
Our lovely niece Phoenix very kindly drove down to pick us up and take us back to our temporary "home".
Unfortunately, despite managing the walk, my knee is still sore on the uphill bits and is not ready for real tramping yet. Combined with a couple of family events at home in two weeks' time we decided we would head home for a (hopefully) short while for some more work on my knee before heading back up here for a restart. That'll give Maria, Andrew and Phoenix a bit of peace and quiet!! A bit disappointing but the best decision we think. So we are hopping on a tin budgie in Whangarei this p.m. (Monday) and will be home this evening.
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!