I thought I would contribute to the blog every now and then. Anthony is doing a great job at recording our adventure but as we are having another zero day (due to extreme weather), it's a good opportunity for me to add a bit.
Cape Reinga to Ahipara was just stunning. We lucked in with tides and weather so it all went pretty smoothly. The expansiveness of the beaches, the dunes, the crashing waves - it left me in wonder. We established a nice routine that helped pass the kms. There was a bit of talking, a bit of resting (always on the lookout for a good log), a bit of eating and of course a whole lot of striding out. Discussions and decisions about water is a biggy because of availability and carrying the precious liquid.
The biggest surprise for me over the first four days was my lack of appetite. I believe it will kick in but I found it interesting how the body responds under certain circumstances.
Amongst the wonder of this wilderness there was a sadness for me. As some of you may know, I have a thing about rubbish and regularly collect rubbish when walking. Anthony made me promise I was not going to cart a rubbish bag along TA before we started! You guessed it, even in this amazing, raw wilderness, man's waste is apparent - usually captured in the gullies, streams and sand dunes from high tides and winds. So sad.
Moving on - by day three I had a little toe blister which was manageable but when the thigh muscles starting objecting I dived into an audio book to help take my mind off the discomfort (pain actually). The perfect companion for this situation was Catniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games as she was in a heck of a lot worse place than I was. It was fitting that I finished the book just before reaching Ahipara - we both made it! Thank you Suzanne Collins.
One other thing I wanted to share was an occasional chat about my hiking gear. Anthony covered our gear list pretty comprehensively but I am talking about the relationship you develop with your gear. For this last section, the item that won MVG (most valuable gear) award went to my beautiful quality, loose woven, pure cotton scarf. Anthony thought of it as s fashion statement ( I agree it's pretty styly) but oh my goodness it was so much more. It is so versatile and made the world of difference. The photo pretty well tells the story. I have fondly named the scarf 'Joan', after an incredible woman I met in England in August.
That's it from me..... the rain is easing, roll on tomorrow.
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"!!