As we couldn't start our kayak trip down the Puhoi River until around high tide at 12 noon, we had a relaxing start to the day (this was part of our plan in pushing on to Puhoi the afternoon before). Our kind hosts were heading to Auckland and dropped us off in Puhoi on the way. Another great big thanks from us to Mo and Grant for their hospitality, including all the running around for us, over the last couple of days - it was fantastic to catch up again.
I split the gps tracks today - so the kayak leg is here. The following walking section is here. About 7.5km on kayak and 13km walking today - reasonably leisurely given the terrain!
We took a quiet 1hr40 or so to paddle down to Wenderholm Regional Park, where the kayak people had our packs waiting for us. We had a short break there and then headed off for an eventual planned stop at Orewa Top 10 Holiday Park
After our rest we started out by climbing fairly steeply up the headland which is around 150m asl - this was the only real climb of the day. Unfortunately, about halfway up I noticed that my sunglasses had come adrift from my head. Belinda was ahead of me and out of calling range so I had a quick trot down a bit of the track and couldn't find them. I headed back up and met B heading down to find me. First off B headed back down to the bottom and came back up empty-handed. I then headed back down almost to the bottom again and headed back up. Lo and behold, about 50m from where we had stopped, I spotted them in the "gutter" on the side of the track. Saved! That all took over an hour out of our schedule, although today we were not pressed for time fortunately!
We crossed the Waiwera Bridge and took the low tide coastal route round to Hatfields Beach (famous among other things for being the late Rob Muldoon's holiday spot!). This was more rock hopping than sand walking. Interesting section and generally safe although I did manage another slip on my bum on some algae-covered rocks near to Hatfields Beach - luckily no real addition to the already massive bruise!!
It was only about a kilometre from Hatfields to the start of Orewa Beach - then it was a walk down the 3km or so of beach to the campsite at the south end. Halfway down the beach we noticed someone looking at us a bit more closely than usual (lots of people stare at the crazies walking with so much stuff on their backs!!). We started chatting and discovered she had been sitting right behind me at the Puhoi Pub the previous evening and had recognised us (we don't change clothes much!!). Given the coincidence, we thought we should get her to take a photo of B and I on the beach (yet another beach). Arrived at the campsite somewhere about 1800 and pitched tent for the night.
There are, as might be possibly expected, lots of people interested in what we are doing - obviously this is mores in the populated areas that we are in right now. Good to be able to spread the word - and even find the odd person who has it on the bucket list to do.
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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"!!